DENVER (KDKA/AP) — What a difference one year makes for the Pirates who last season had just 17 wins on the road for the entire season.
With their 8-4 win over the Colorado Rockies Sunday afternoon, the Pirates already have nine wins on the road and it was their fourth road series win of this young season. They won four road series all of last year.
The Pirates Charlie Morton pitched into the sixth inning for his third win while Colorado ace Ubaldo Jimenez (0-2) struggled again.
Jimenez threw three wild pitches, tying a club record, and his ERA rose to 7.20 through four starts.
Garrett Jones had two hits and three RBIs for the Pirates. Also, Xavier Paul, Andrew McCutchen, Lyle Overbay and Pedro Alvarez had two hits each.
For the Rockies, Dexter Fowler and Todd Helton had two hits each.
Jimenez allowed four runs on six hits, struck out six and walked four. He needed 88 pitches to get through four innings in his shortest outing of the season. Last year, Jimenez failed to pitch into the sixth twice in 33 starts and dominated hitters en route to a 15-1 record at the All-Star break.
The Pirates jumped on Jimenez in the second inning. Ryan Doumit led off with a walk, Alvarez singled to put runners at the corners and Ronny Cedeno’s bunt down the first base line gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.
Jimenez retired the next two batters before Paul tripled to right-center and Jones doubled to center to make it 4-0.
The Rockies broke through in the third on Helton’s two-out single that scored Fowler from second to make it 4-1. Ryan Spilborghs cut the lead to 4-2 with a pinch-hit single to score Seth Smith in the fourth.
But the Pirates broke open the game with a four-run fifth against reliever Esmil Rogers. Morton knocked in his second career RBI on a sacrifice fly and Jones had a two-run single to make it 8-2.
Morton (3-1) was cruising until the sixth when Smith led off with a single and Chris Iannetta drew a one-out walk.
Michael Crotta relieved and walked pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera to load the bases. Fowler followed with a double to make it 8-4, but Joe Beimel came on to strike out Alfredo Amezaga on three pitches and retire Helton on a deep fly to left.
The Pirates held outfielder Jose Tabata (right hamstring) out of the lineup.
The Pirates now head to San Diego for three games against the Padres starting Monday at 10:05 p.m.