Aug 28, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates outfielders S. Marte (LC), A. McCutchen (C) and G. Polanco (25) celebrate in the outfield in front of their teammates after defeating the Colorado Rockies 5-3 at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates met again Saturday evening for the second game of their three-game set at PNC Park.
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The Colorado Rockies rallied for two ninth-inning runs, but a base running mistake ended the game and an early Pittsburgh Pirates home run was enough to keep the Rox at arms’ length, with Pittsburgh winning 4-3 on Saturday night at PNC Park.
Chris Rusin started for the Colorado Rockies, and one bad pitch in the first inning ended up dooming his night altogether. After Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen reached base in the bottom of the first inning, Rusin left a pitch over the middle of the plate for Aramis Ramirez, who belted it to left center field for a three-run home run that immediately gave the Pirates a lead.
To Rusin’s credit, though, he really settled down after the first inning, and he’d end up going five more scoreless frames on the night.
In total, Rusin’s line went 6 innings, allowing the three first-inning runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out three. He threw a career-high 113 pitches (but only 66 for strikes).
The Rockies never got much going against Rusin’s adversary, J.A. Happ. Happ gave up his only run in the top of the third inning, when Charlie Blackmon hit an RBI fielder’s choice groundout that scored Brandon Barnes to make the game 3-1, but the Rockies couldn’t muster much more off Happ, who was finished in the sixth inning.
The Rockies’ bullpen gave up a run in the seventh when Jason Gurka, making his Major League debut, allowed a pair of hits to Starling Marte and Michael Morse, before getting Gregory Polanco to ground out. The grounder scored Marte, making it a 4-1 game — an extra run for the Pirates that would prove very important.
Gonzalez Germen relieved Gurka, and worked out of the seventh and then worked his own scoreless eighth inning.
Things got interesting in the ninth inning off Pirates’ closer Mark Melancon, though, when Ben Paulsen led off with a single, only to score immediately on Nick Hundley‘s booming two-run home run to make the game 4-3.
Brandon Barnes then followed that up with another single, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth inning with nobody out. But, Daniel Descalso popped out, and then Charlie Blackmon hit a soft line drive, and Barnes was doubled off first base to end the game in the most Rockies’ way possible.
The Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates finish their series on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, before the Rox come home for a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.