PITTSBURGH (AP) – John Jaso hit a pinch-hit two-run homer off Colorado’s Adam Ottavino in the seventh inning to break a tie and Andrew McCutchen homered twice as the Pittsburgh Pirates pulled away from the Colorado Rockies 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Jaso sent the second pitch he saw from Ottavino (0-1) just over the fence in center field for his second pinch-hit homer of the season and fifth of his career. Gerrit Cole (4-6) broke out of a funk to allow just one run in seven strong innings.
The Pirates have won a season-high four straight following a four-game losing streak that dropped them to last in the NL Central.
Tony Wolters had two hits and an RBI for Colorado. Trevor Story drove in a run and scored for the Rockies. The NL West-leading Rockies have dropped three consecutive games for the first time this season.
The Rockies arrived in Pittsburgh with the most road wins in the majors but their offense has gone quiet at PNC Park while managing three runs combined in back-to-back losses. Tyler Chatwood matched Cole for six innings, his lone mistake a pitch McCutchen sent into the left field stands in the fourth.
Chatwood allowed six hits, struck out five and walked one and has a 1.00 ERA in his last four road starts.
The home run was McCutchen’s fourth since being moved to sixth in the batting order on May 26. He added a two-run shot off Colorado reliever Jordan Lyles in the eighth for the 13th multi-home run game of his career. The 2013 NL MVP is hitting .396 in the sixth spot to lift his batting average from .206 to .255.
Like McCutchen, Cole has struggled to regain his old form. An All-Star two years ago, Cole came in with an 8.84 ERA in his last four starts. He struck out three and walked three while needing 100 pitches to get 21 outs.
Colorado scored its only run in the fifth when Story scored all the way from first — finishing it with an expert slide — on a hit-and-run that Wolters sent into left center.
Jaso entered as a pinch hitter for Cole in the seventh after Jordy Mercer singled and gave the Pirates the lead for good when his blast to center bounced off the top of the wall and over.
LORD STANLEY VISITS
Captain Sidney Crosby and several other members of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins stopped by PNC Park before the game and they brought the Cup with them. The Penguins set up the Cup in the Pirates clubhouse before the first pitch while players from both teams grabbed a quick celebratory photo.
The Penguins, including Crosby, Phil Kessel, Marc-Andre Fleury, Patric Hornqvist and Jake Guentzel, were saluted by the crowd before Crosby threw out the first pitch, a strike to teammate Ron Hainsey.
Rockies: LF Gerardo Parra’s strained right quadriceps is worse than the team originally thought. Manager Bud Black said Parra, who went on the DL on June 7, will be out longer than anticipated. … RHP Tyler Anderson (left knee inflammation) threw 52 pitches in a bullpen session on Monday. The team will wait until Wednesday before making a decision on when and where Anderson will make a rehab start. … RHP Jon Gray (stress fracture left foot) will make a rehab start for Class-A Asheville on Wednesday.
Pirates: Cs Francisco Cervelli (concussion) and Chris Stewart (strained left hamstring) both threw and hit on Tuesday. Cervelli is eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday.
Rockies: German Marquez (4-3, 4.44 ERA) will try to bounce back from his shortest start of the season when he faces the Pirates for the first time in his career on Wednesday. Marquez went just three innings against the Chicago Cubs last Friday, though Colorado rallied to win 5-3.
Pirates: Chad Kuhl (1-5, 5.63) looks for his first win in over two months on Wednesday. Kuhl hasn’t gone longer than five innings in any of his last nine starts.
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