The Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday afternoon at PNC Park by a 4-3 score. After building an early lead, the Bucs gave the lead away and squandered countless opportunities to score more runs throughout the latter part of the game. The result was a series loss, while it also marked their ninth loss in the last ten games.
Rich Hill started for Pittsburgh, but lasted only 3.2 innings while giving up three runs (one earned) on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Antonio Sezatela started for the Rockies, but he had an abbreviated start, lasting 2.2 frames while giving up three runs on four hits before leaving with an injury. Brad Hand earned the victory for Colorado, while Robert Stephenson suffered the loss for Pittsburgh.
The Pirates took the lead early, scoring the game’s first run on a solo homerun by Tucupita Marcano in the bottom of the second inning. A two-run homerun by Andrew McCutchen, his seventh of the season, increased the Bucs’ lead to 3-0 after three innings.
Colorado jumped all over Hill in the fourth inning, scoring three runs to tie the game. A double by Randal Grichuk scored Ezequiel Tovar to get the Rockies on the board, and was followed later in the inning by a single from Austin Wynns, make it a one-run game at 3-2. Wynns scored when the next batter, Alan Trejo, singled to right field.
The Pirates got their next best chance to score runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Bryan Reynolds walked to begin the inning, and advanced to second on a single by McCutchen. A wild pitch later and a walk to Carlos Santana, the Bucs had the bases the loaded with no outs. Incredibly, the Pirates were unable to score a run. Connor Joe was called out on strikes, and Rodolfo Castro lined into a double play to end the inning.
The very next inning, the Rockies also loaded the bases, but unlike Pittsburgh, they were able to cash in. A single by Jurickson Profar scored Wynns to make it 4-3. But Stephenson prevented the game from getting out of hand by retiring the next three batters, two by strikeout, to end the threat.
Pittsburgh had another opportunity in the bottom of the eighth, putting the tying run on with base, but Santana struck out to end the inning. Once again in the ninth, they put multiple runners on base. A walk to Castro and a double by Ji Hwan Bae put runners on second and third with two outs. But once again, the Bucs came up empty when Josh Palacios struck out to end the game.
This was a frustrating series for the Pirates. After snapping their seven game losing streak on Monday with a victory over the Rockies, they were blown out on Tuesday night and lost a game on Wednesday afternoon after holding a three-run lead early. A common theme across this week’s series was missed opportunities with runners in scoring position, particularly in this afternoon’s game. They now have a day off before hitting the road for a difficult three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles beginning on Friday.
Record vs. Rockies: 4-2
Record vs. N.L. West: 6-3
Record at Home: 10-9
Overall Record: 21-17
Let’s Go Bucs!