Pirates avoid sweep, pound Rockies 10-2
PITTSBURGH — Sean Rodriguez hit a two-run home run that backed Chad Kuhl and helped the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 10-2 on Wednesday to avoid a three-game sweep.
Josh Bell drove in three runs and David Freese added a two-run double as Pittsburgh improved to 8-0 in day games. Adam Frazier had three of Pittsburgh’s 13 hits and backup catcher Elias Diaz added two hits.
Kyle Freeland (0-3) cruised through the first three innings but ran into trouble in the fourth. Freese worked a two-out walk off and Rodriguez followed with a shot that scraped over the wall in left field for his second home run of the season. Max Moroff added an RBI-double two batters later to put the Pirates up 3-1.
Freeland was pulled in favor of Scott Oberg after giving up singles to Adam Frazier and Jordy Mercer starting the fifth. Oberg couldn’t get out of the jam, surrendering an RBI single to Bell. Freese followed with a double to the gap in left-center.
Freeland was charged with five runs, six hits and two walks in four-plus innings.
Kuhl (2-1) surrendered Chris Iannetta’s solo home run in the third but otherwise kept Colorado’s struggling offense in check. Kuhl struck out four and walked three while giving up four hits. The NL Central-leading Pirates are the only team in the majors to have their starter work at least five innings in every game this season.
Colorado went 5-2 on a swing through Washington and Pittsburgh, thanks in large part to their pitching. The offense has struggled while third baseman Nolan Arenado served a five-game suspension for his role in a brawl with San Diego earlier this month.
Colorado entered last in the NL in batting (.215) and didn’t improve against Kuhl and two relievers.
The Rockies had just two extra base hits on Wednesday, or one more than newly acquired Pittsburgh reliever Enny Romero, who doubled in the eighth in his second big league at-bat. Romero also pitched two scoreless innings in his first appearance since being claimed off waivers from Washington last weekend.
Rockies: RF Carlos Gonzalez was replaced by Gerardo Parra in the fifth. There was no immediate word on why Gonzalez was removed. He made a sliding catch in a sinking liner by Pittsburgh’s Starling Marte leading off the bottom of the fourth.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove is expected to throw 25-30 pitches during a bullpen session today as he works his way back from a strained right shoulder. If Musgrove gets through the session without an issues, he may throw another session over the weekend then do a simulated game before the team considers sending him out for rehab starts in the minors.
Rockies: Begin a six-game homestand on Friday when the Chicago Cubs visit Coors Field. Jon Gray (1-3, 6.23 ERA) takes on Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 3.71).
Pirates: Head to Philadelphia for a four-game series with the Phillies starting today. Jameson Taillon (2-0, 0.89) faces Jake Arrieta (1-0, 3.38).
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