By MICHAEL KELLY
DENVER (AP) Josh Harrison had four hits, including a tiebreaking homer, to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Sunday.
Gregory Polanco and Travis Snider also went deep for the Pirates, who avoided being swept in Colorado for the second straight season.
Harrison homered on the first pitch of the eighth to break a tie, and Polanco followed with his fifth of the season to make it 7-5.
Tony Watson (7-1) gave up a run in two innings of relief to get the win and Mark Melancon worked the ninth for his 19th save.
Harrison also had helped give the Pirates a 5-4 lead. In the sixth he swiped second but was caught in a rundown when he slid past the bag. He survived to reach third – giving him two stolen bases on the play – and scored on a pinch-hit double by Ike Davis to make it 5-4.
Snider had tied the game with a pinch-hit, two-run homer earlier in the inning.
Nolan Arenado and Brandon Barnes homered and Wilin Rosario reached base four times for the Rockies, who were going for their first home sweep since taking two from Texas in early May.
Arenado tied it 5-5 with a homer in the seventh, his ninth of the year and second in as many games before Harrison and Polanco struck in the eighth off reliever Rex Brothers (3-5).
Pittsburgh starter Edison Volquez has struggled against Colorado and at Coors Field. He entered Sunday 3-8 with a 7.80 ERA in 13 career starts against the Rockies. The numbers are even worse in Denver where he was 1-5 with a 8.45 ERA in eight career starts.
He didn’t improve those statistics Sunday. He allowed an RBI single to DJ LeMahieu in the second inning and a two-run homer to Barnes as part of a three-run fourth inning, although only one of the runs was earned.
He left after loading the bases with one out in the fifth. Reliever Jared Hughes got Barnes to hit into an inning-ending double play.
Rockies starter Franklin Morales didn’t fare any better. He labored through four-plus innings, allowing two runs on six hits and walking five. He left after issuing two walks to leadoff the fifth. The Rockies got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam when Arenado snared Jody Mercer’s liner and tagged third for a double play and Neil Walker grounded out.
NOTES: Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki (left hip flexor strain) flew to Philadelphia on Saturday to have his hip checked by Dr. William Meyers. Meyers operated on Tulowitzki’s injured groin in 2012. Tulowitzki was spotted in the stands behind home plate at Yankees Stadium on Sunday. … Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez returned to the lineup after not starting the past four games. … Pittsburgh RHP Vance Worley (3-1, 3.10 ERA) will start Monday’s series opener in San Francisco. … Colorado LHP Yohan Flande (0-2, 7.20) will start against the Cubs in Chicago on Monday.
Updated July 27, 2014
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