Colorado Rockies: Odd Final Inning Breaks Pittsburgh’s Hex
Needing to catch a break after once again having trouble pushing runs across the plate, the Colorado Rockies took advantage of two Pittsburgh Pirates miscues that happened at the worst possible time for the home team.
Gerardo Parra reached on a two-out error by Pittsburgh catcher Francisco Cervelli in the top of the ninth and the Rockies would score four runs in the frame following that, shocking the Pirates with a 5-1 win in a rain-delayed contest on Saturday evening.
Parra started the rally very innocently, dribbling a ball on a 2-2 swing in front of the plate that Cervelli fielded and promptly fired into right field, allowing Parra to race to second and breathing life into the Rockies.
Daniel Descalso followed with a walk and a wild pitch by Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon moved the Rockies runners to second and third. That’s when things really exploded in the Pirates’ faces.
Tony Wolters hit a ball down the first base line that careened off the bag and away from Pittsburgh first baseman John Jaso. Wolters reached with an infield single and Parra scored. Jaso tried to throw the ball but it slipped out of his hand on the wet afternoon, allowing Descalso to score.
Pittsburgh brought in reliever Jared Hughes to try to finish the Colorado rally but Cristhian Adames took his first pitch over the center field wall for his first career homer and a 5-1 Colorado lead.
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Jake McGee allowed two Pittsburgh hits in the bottom of the inning but still blanked the Pirates to finish off the Colorado rally and move the Rockies back to the .500 mark at 21-21 on the season. It also snapped an eight-game losing streak to Pittsburgh that dated back to last season.
Tyler Chatwood continued his jaw-dropping run of inspired pitching on the road, allowing just one run in six innings of work. It was only the second run Chatwood has allowed in his road starts this season as his ERA stayed miniscule at 0.53 away from Coors Field.
Chatwood allowed a run in his first road start of the season at Arizona and again on Saturday. Between those runs, he held his opponents scoreless over 27.2 innings, establishing a new franchise record in the department previously held by Ubaldo Jiminez (27 innings in 2010).
Next: The Top 5 Catchers in Colorado History
Now sitting at 2-3 on their current nine-game road trip, the Rockies will send Chad Bettis (4-2, 4.18 ERA) to the hill for Sunday’s finale in the Steel City. Former Colorado Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio (4-3, 4.46 ERA) will look for some revenge against his previous team by starting for the Pirates.