|Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Erik Bedard works against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game in Denver on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)|
Rockies waste lead, allow 4 HRs in loss to Pirates
DENVER—The Colorado Rockies had their bats working. It was their pitching that let them down once again.
The Rockies raced out to an early four-run lead but gave it all back in the third and fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-6 on Wednesday.
Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez homered, and Andrew Brown, recalled Tuesday and batting cleanup, had three hits for Colorado.
"Six runs and 11 hits today," manager Jim Tracy said. "There has to be a number of days where six runs and 11 hits is enough. Unfortunately again today it wasn't."
The Rockies roughed up Pittsburgh starter James McDonald (10-3) and seemed ready to blow out the Pirates.
Fowler led off the bottom of the first with his 12th homer, Marco Scutaro walked and Gonzalez followed with his 18th home run to give Colorado a 3-0 lead.
The Rockies tacked on two more in the bottom of the inning on Scutaro's groundout and Brown's single to make it 5-1.
The Pirates rallied to take the lead against starter Jeremy Guthrie. McDonald helped himself with a leadoff single, Andrew McCutchen walked with two outs and Garrett Jones homered to right-center field to make it 5-4.
Casey McGehee reached on an error, Pedro Alvarez, who hit a solo homer in the second, singled and Rod Barajas was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Clint Barmes followed with a two-run single to make it 6-5 and chase Guthrie.
"A big home run by Jones there, he took a great swing. At that point I let the team back into it," Guthrie said. "That's the battle you fight to try and be positive and work to prepare."
One of Brown's hits, an RBI single in the fourth, tied the game 6-all before the Pirates took control.
Jones started the fifth with a single off reliever Matt Reynolds (3-1) and McGehee followed with his eighth homer of the season. One out later, Barajas homered to make it 9-6.
"It gets to be tough when you do what we did early in the game," manager Jim Tracy said. "The energy and effort we had to build the lead and within a manner of hitters give it all back."
The Rockies got the tying run to the plate with one out in the eighth but Gonzalez grounded out and Brown struck out to end the threat.
"We sent the tying run to home plate in the eighth inning with one out and our (No.) 3-4 hitters up there but they turned us away," Tracy said.
Joel Hanrahan recorded the last three outs for his 26th save in 29 chances.
McDonald (10-3) wasn't sharp but he stuck around long enough to win his fifth straight decision. He allowed six runs on nine hits, walked four and struck out two and needed 108 pitches to get 15 outs.
NOTES: Fowler's home run was his second leading off a game this year and the third of his career. ... Rockies INF Chris Nelson (irregular heartbeat) was released from the hospital Tuesday and visited the team during Tuesday's game. He is home resting comfortably. ... LHP Drew Pomeranz (1-4) will start the opener of a three-game series in San Diego on Friday.