PITTSBURGH — A three-run double by Ty Wigginton in the top of the eighth inning broke open a 3-3 tie, eventually sending the Rockies to a 6-4 win Saturday night at PNC Park.
After Pirates reliever Jose Veras allowed a walk and a single he calmed down, striking out two Rockies. However, he loaded the bases by hitting Jose Lopez, paving the way for Wigginton, who snuck a ball just fair down the third base line that drove in three runs.
“I’m just glad I was able to get one by (Pedro Alvarez),” said Wigginton. “At first, when I saw it going toward him and he was diving for it, my thought was ‘uh-oh.’ But it got by him and I’ll take it.”
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle had a different, less happy reaction.
“…The only way (Alvarez) makes this play is if he’s straddling the bag along the third base line,” Hurdle said. “You pitch in traffic two straight nights, usually it doesn’t end up well — and we’ve done a lot of that the last two nights.”
Colorado jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Pirates starter Charlie Morton on a grounder that drove in Dexter Fowler. Pittsburgh answered back in the second inning on a two-run homer from Ryan Doumit.
The Rockies had an answer of their own, as Carlos Gonzalez singled to center, driving in Fowler again to tie the game at 2-2 in the third.
The game remained tied until the sixth inning when Seth Smith homered to right center field off Morton to put Colorado up, 3-2. It was the final run Morton gave up on the night, pitching seven innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits, striking out one and walking four.
Hurdle made yet another impressive move in the seventh inning that helped tie the game. After Doumit doubled to left field, Hurdle substituted Ronny Cedeno as a pinch runner. He also pinch hit Matt Diaz for Garrett Jones.
In turn, Diaz singled to right field and Cedeno circled home to tie the game, 3-3.
The lead didn’t last long, though, as Wigginton did his damage to blow the game open in the eighth. Jose Tabata hit a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning, but it was all the Pirates could muster, falling 6-4.
“The at-bat we needed to get, we got,” said Colorado manager Jim Tracy. “If (Alvarez) had come up with that, it would have been heartbreaking.”
Chris Gates | Bucs Blog