Pirates 1, Rockies 0
They were glad he did.
Nunez drove in the only run and turned the game-ending double play in a 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Nunez was questionable for the game because his wife gave birth to their son, Abraham Jr., at 3:59 p.m. The game started at 6:35 p.m., and Nunez arrived at the ballpark at 5:50 p.m.
“It’s been quite a day for me,” said Nunez, who drove in Randall Simon with a second-inning groundout. “My wife had a baby in the afternoon, then I helped my team win a game at night. It’d be hard to top this day anytime soon.”
The pitcher’s duel came one night after Pittsburgh beat the Rockies 12-11.
Right-hander Brian Meadows (2-1) replaced recently traded Jeff Suppan in the Pirates’ rotation and allowed five singles in seven innings. It was his second start of the season and first since May 25. He walked one and struck out three.
Suppan led the Pirates with 10 victories before he was traded to the Boston Red Sox on Thursday.
“You always tell yourself you’re going to go out there and throw a shutout,” Meadows said. “Realistically, though, you know it usually isn’t going to happen, especially against a team like the Rockies. I’m very pleased.”
The largest crowd of the season—37,820—at PNC Park saw Meadows throw 93 pitches before he was removed for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. Brian Boehringer pitched 1 1-3 innings before giving way to Lincoln.
Rockies starter Jason Jennings (10-9) lost despite pitching three-hit ball for seven innings.
Colorado threatened to tie it in the ninth, putting runners on first and third against reliever Brian Boehringer. Right-hander Mike Lincoln came in to face Jay Payton. On Lincoln’s first pitch, Payton lined a one-bounce shot to shortstop Jack Wilson, who went to his knees to field it.
Wilson flipped the ball to Nunez, who forced out Larry Walker and threw out the speedy Payton at first. Replays, however, indicated that Payton beat the throw.
The Rockies certainly thought so. Normally mild-mannered first-base coach Dave Collins argued vehemently, as did manager Clint Hurdle.
“We should still be playing,” Hurdle said.
“It was bang-bang, that’s for sure,” said Lincoln, who notched his fourth save in six tries. “I don’t know if he was safe or out, but I do know it was an exciting way to end it.”
Just as Wilson caught the ball, Walker crashed into him, sending them tumbling to the ground. Wilson held onto the ground, and both players were down on the track for several seconds before Rockies medical personnel could attend to them. After about four minutes of medical attention, both players rose to their feet and stayed in.
“People say in car accidents that they kind of forget what happened,” Walker said. “Once I figured out where I was, I mumbled to him, `Do you have the ball?’ He said, `Yes.’ I said, `OK, good.”’
Simon led off the Pirates’ second inning with a walk and advanced to third on Jose Hernandez’s double off the right-field wall. After Jack Wilson struckout, Nunez bounced out to second to drive home Simon.
The Rockies dropped their fourth in a row and fell to an NL-worst 18-41 on the road. … Abraham Jr. weighed in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces. … Lincoln had blown his previous two save opportunities. … Pirates RF Reggie Sanders threw out Ronnie Belliard trying to stretch a single to a double in the first. Sanders’ one-hop throw from the gap in right-center field gave him four assists on the season, tied for the team lead among outfielders with recently traded CF Kenny Lofton. … The Rockies have yet to finish a road trip with a .500 record this season. … Jennings is 7-0 at home, but 3-9 on the road with a four-game losing streak. … The crowd was the 10th-largest in PNC Park’s three-yearhistory. There was a postgame fireworks show.