Rockies 6, Pirates 4

Jack Etkin, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DENVER -- After bombarding the high-flying Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night, the Colorado Rockies overhauled them on Saturday night and held on to win 6-4.
Thanks to a five-run sixth inning when all the runs were scored with two outs, the Rockies won back-to-back games for the first time since July 20-21. They beat the Pirates 10-1 on Friday.
The Rockies have regrouped against the Pirates after staggering home from a 1-9 road trip that tied the worst record in franchise history for a 10-game trip.
The Pirates remained four games ahead of St. Louis in the National League Central after the Cardinals were beaten at home by the Chicago Cubs for the second straight game.
Rockies closer Rex Brothers walked the first batter he faced in the ninth and gave up a one-out single to Alex Presley. Neil Walker followed with a run-scoring single. Brothers ran the count full to Andrew McCutchen but struck him out. He then struck out cleanup hitter Pedro Alvarez on his 27th pitch to pick up his ninth save,
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was ejected by second base umpire Adrian Johnson in the seventh. It was the fifth ejection this season for Hurdle, who argued that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki did not have his foot on the base when he caught a high throw from pitcher Josh Outman to complete a double play on Neil Walker's comebacker with runners on first and second and no outs.
Starling Marte, batting ahead of Walker, was hit by an Outman pitch and had to leave the game. Marte is listed day to day with a left hand contusion.
The Pirates scored twice with two out in the sixth to go ahead 3-1 and knock out starter Juan Nicasio. He worked 5 2/3 innings, as did Pirates starter A.J. Burnett, who had limited the Rockies to one run and four hits before their sixth-inning uprising.
Michael Cuddyer led off the Rockies sixth with a single. He took second on Wilin Rosario's deep fly to center and scored on Nolan Arenado's double.
After Jonathan Herrera walked, pinch-hitter Charlie Blackmon's first-pitch double tied the score at 3. Dexter Fowler followed with a two-run single that finished Burnett.
Corey Dickerson greeted Tony Watson with an opposite-field single that sent Fowler dashing to third. He spiked Alvarez on the left hand and knocked the ball out of his glove at third base and far enough away to enable Fowler to score.
Three straight hits with two out gave the Pirates a two-run lead in the top of the inning. Russell Martin, who doubled home a run in the fourth, singled for his third straight hit and Garrett Jones tripled him home, driving an 0-2 pitch beyond the reach of Fowler in center.
Herrera snared Jose Tabata's grounder behind second base but couldn't get Tabata at first with his jump throw as Jones scored.
While losing his previous two starts, Nicasio (7-6) failed to last five innings, giving up 16 hits and 12 runs in 8 1/3 innings. He was better Saturday and claimed a victory but again experienced the efficiency problems that have plagued him most of the season. Nicasio retired the side on nine pitches in the first and then needed 93 pitches to work his final 4 2/3 innings.
Burnett (5-8), who held the Rockies to one run and eight hits while throwing a complete game one week ago and winning 5-1 at Pittsburgh, tied his season high by allowing six runs, five of them earned.
NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 48 minutes by rain. ... Rockies RHP Rafael Betancourt, who underwent an appendectomy July 19, will throw a simulated game on Monday. The Rockies closer threw three bullpen sessions this week, the last a 47-pitch effort Friday and said he felt very good Saturday. ... Fowler has drawn least one walk in eight of his past 10 starts. ... Rockies RHP Jeff Manship, who made an emergency start on Thursday at New York when Tyler Chatwood (right elbow inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list, is scheduled to start again Tuesday against San Diego. ... Marte flied out to begin the game. He was trying to become the first Pirate to get a hit in seven straight at-bats since Freddy Sanchez on May 25-26, 2009. ... Pirates LHP Wandy Rodriguez threw 25 pitches, fastballs and changeups, in his first bullpen session since late June and said he felt fine afterward. Rodriguez hasn't pitched since coming out of a June 6 start in the first inning with left forearm tightness. Assuming no setbacks, Rodriguez is scheduled for another bullpen session Wednesday at St. Louis and a simulated game on Friday or Saturday in Pittsburgh.

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