Pirates 6, Rockies 1
PITTSBURGH (AP)—Jose Castillo recently incorporated a leg kick into his batting stance, and the rookie has seen some positive results.
“He’s confident with that leg kick, and he’s going to get better,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Pirates hitting instructor Gerald Perry made Castillo change his stance after an 0-for-20 slump dropped his average to a season-low .230. In five games since, Castillo is batting .500 (7-for-14) with a triple, two home runs and seven RBIs. His average is up to .245 now.
“We said coming out of spring training that if he hit .240 and gave us good defense, we’d be extremely happy,” McClendon said. “Every day is a new adventure for him. It’s nice to see him getting it turned around.”
Craig Wilson also homered for the Pirates, who had lost two straight after winning four in a row.
Perez (8-6) overcame seven walks to earn the victory. He matched his career high in walks, but allowed only one run and two hits in six innings, striking out six. Salomon Torres and Mike Gonzalez combined for three-hit relief.
“I was just happy to keep the team in the game,” Perez said.
Jamey Wright (1-1) lasted only 4 1-3 innings and took the loss.
Vinny Castilla homered for the second straight game for the Rockies, 4-2 on their seven-game road trip.
Wright, making his fifth start since he signed with Colorado on July 22, allowed six runs, eight hits and four walks.
“Wright was mediocre, at best,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “When he got a pitcher’s count, he tried for a punch out, rather than trying for groundballs.”
Wright felt he had his best stuff, but made bad decisions.
“I was throwing the ball as well as I have all year,” he said. “But I was trying to be too good. I threw a lot of breaking balls, a lot of sinkers, too.”
Castilla’s 25th homer put Colorado ahead in the second, but Castillo hit an RBI single in the bottom half and Pittsburgh went ahead on Wilson’s run-scoring groundout.
Castillo homered in the fourth and Wilson in the fifth, making it 4-1. Wilson’s homer was his team-leading 21st. Castillo added an RBI single later in the inning, and Jack Wilson walked against Allan Simpson later in the inning, forcing in a run.
The Pirates are 16-6 when they hit two or more homers. They had scored only three runs in their previous two games.
2B Clint Barmes became the 15th rookie to play for the Rockies this season, most in the NL. Barmes, recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Saturday, went 1-for-3 but was returned to Colorado Springs after the game. … The Pirates released first baseman Randall Simon after the game, and activated first baseman Daryle Ward from the 15-day disabled list. They also put left-hander Dave Williams on the 15-day DL with a strained rib cage and recalled right-hander Mark Corey from Triple-A Nashville. … The Pirates have gone six straight games and 60 innings without an error. … Craig Wilson was hit by a pitch for the 23rd time this season, the most in the majors. Kendall reached base five times, walking three times, singling and getting hit by a pitch.