PITTSBURGH (AP)—Colorado had never won a series in PNC Park. To break that streak, the Rockies turned to the stadium’s career wins leader.
Josh Fogg scattered five hits over seven innings as Colorado beat Pittsburgh 6-2 on Tuesday night, handing the Pirates their fifth consecutive loss.
In his first appearance in Pittsburgh since pitching for the Pirates from 2002-05, Fogg won for the 20th time at the 7-year-old ballpark—three more than any other pitcher.
“That’s four years’ worth, though, so that’s not that great,” said Fogg, laughing. “Think about it. There’s guys that win 20 in a year. That (record) won’t last long. They’ve got some young guys over there who will be able to pass me by a lot of wins.”
Fogg won for the fourth time in his past five decisions after starting the season 1-5.
Colorado had lost its previous eight series in Pittsburgh, going 8-17 in the process before winning two games in a row this week.
Playing without Todd Helton, who was not with the team because of severe headaches, every Colorado starter had at least one hit, six players scored a run each and five had a lone RBI.
“That’s what were going to need,” said Carroll. “We’re going to need to be able to get those bench guys in and give these guys days off. Everybody still has confidence that we can do some good things.”
“Coming into the break so strong, losing five straight after the break wasn’t the way we hoped to get the second half started,” McLouth said.
The Rockies took a 4-1 lead in the second off Pittsburgh starter Shane Youman. Jeff Baker singled in Troy Tulowitzki, Carroll doubled home Yorvit Torrealba, Willy Taveras’ groundout drove in Baker and Carroll scored on a Ryan Spilborghs single.
Colorado added another run in the third when Atkins scored on a passed ball.
McLouth’s homer to right in the third—his first since opening day—cut the Rockies’ lead to 5-2. But that would be all Fogg would permit.
“When you only have two base runners after the third inning, you’re not putting yourself in a very good position, obviously, to win,” Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. “We didn’t mount any kind of a threat offensively beyond the first inning.”
After Nady hit a double three batters later, Fogg (5-6) did not allow another hit the remainder of the game, retiring the next 10 batters and 12 of the final 13 he faced.
“He controlled their bat speed, and he showed you don’t have to throw 95 to do it,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “He doesn’t give up on himself. He has the ability to go back and put his foot down and say, ‘I’ve got to find a way.’ He knew the situation tonight. He knew he had to find a way to get us six quality innings, and obviously he did better than that.”
Fogg, who was 39-42 with Pittsburgh, walked one and tied a season-high by striking out five.
“Early on, I was overthrowing a little bit. You feel too good sometimes, and go out there and try to do a little too much,” Fogg said. “Once I got to the third inning, I was able to settle down a little bit.”
Youman (2-1), who was making his third start of the season, allowed five runs—four earned—and eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Colorado added a run in the seventh off of Masumi Kuwata, when Taveras scored on an Atkins’ single.
“We’re definitely hitting the ball right now,” Torreabla said. “Guys like myself who weren’t hitting earlier in the year are starting to hit the ball better and better, and that makes a big difference.”
The game’s start was delayed 31 minutes—purportedly by rain—even though it was not raining. … Rockies 1B Todd Helton was not at the park, staying at the hotel due to headaches. … Colorado has not been two games over .500 since an eight-game losing streak in late June.