Pittsburgh Pirates defeat Colorado Rockies 6-3


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The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Colorado Rockies for the second straight night, winning 6-3 on Tuesday. J.A. Happ added another good start to his string of recent success as the Pirates collected their 91st win of the year, knocking their magic number to one. A loss by the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday would have clinched Pittsburgh’s third straight postseason appearance, but that will have to wait until at least Wednesday night as the Giants also won last night.

The Pirates took the lead in the first inning when Starling Marte hit a double that brought Gregory Polanco in for the first run of the game. They added two more in the second inning with a run-scoring double by Josh Harrison and then Polanco followed with a base hit to bring in Harrison. In the bottom half of the second inning, Wilin Rosario hit a solo home run to give the Rockies their first run of the game.

Pittsburgh got the run back in the top of the third when Michael Morse singled to score Francisco Cervelli. But in the bottom of the inning the Rockies pulled within one run with run-scoring singles by Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. The Pirates would tack one two more runs in the fourth inning, which would be more than enough to secure the win.

After Polanco walked, Aramis Ramirez tripled to center to pad the Pirates’ lead. Marte hit an infield single that rolled to third base and popped over it, allowing Ramirez to score. Once Happ was taken out of the game in the sixth inning, the Pittsburgh bullpen slammed the door on any Colorado comeback.

Jared Hughes recorded the last two outs of the sixth inning and he was followed by scoreless innings from Antonio Bastardo (1 IP, 1 K) and Joakim Soria (1 IP, 1 H, 3 Ks).  Mark Melancon came in for the ninth and earned his 49th save of the year, striking out one in the process.

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What Stood Out

While he did not finish six innings, Happ once again threw a very good game and kept the Colorado hitters on their toes. He continues to strike out at least one batter per inning and limit the damage the opposing hitters can do since becoming a Pirate. He ran into trouble with letting base runners get to third, but ultimately he was able to keep the Rockies to just three runs on Tuesday.

For the second night in a row the Pirates recorded more than ten hits in a game. They also received multi-hit games from Harrison, Marte, and Cervelli. It was apparent that the Rockies were avoiding Andrew McCutchen and this could be a game plan for other opponents, so it will be important for the hitters in the middle of the order to continue hitting well.

What’s Next

The series in Colorado continues tomorrow when Charlie Morton and Christian Bergman face off at 8:40 PM. Morton had a very bad outing the last time he took the mound, giving up six runs (five earned) in just four innings of work against the Cubs and has lost four of his last five starts. Bergman will make a rare start for the Rockies in place of Jorge De La Rosa on Wednesday. He most recently pitched 3 1/3 innings of one-run ball in relief against the Padres on September 19th.

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