DENVER (AP) — Kevin Newman was quick to get the Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense rolling.
Newman, the new leadoff batter, had two homers among his four hits and drove in three runs, Jose Osuna also homered and the Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 11-8 on Thursday night.
Newman homered to lead off the game, igniting a seven-run first that he capped with his second hit of the inning, a two-out RBI single that chased Colorado starter Chi Chi Gonzalez.
It was the second career leadoff home run for Newman, who also did it June 27 at Houston. And he is relishing settling into the leadoff role, making his seventh straight start at the top of the order after getting spot starts at the position earlier in the year.
“I love it,” he said. “That’s honestly one of the perks to be a leadoff hitter in my mind, to be able to go out there and have the opportunity to set the tone like that. It doesn’t always end in a home run or a base hit even, but just to have that opportunity to do something for the team, get that energy going, I really enjoy it.”
Adam Frazier added four hits, including a pair of run-scoring singles, and Colin Moran had two hits, including a two-run double in the Pirates’ big first inning.
“The top of the lineup was setting the table and once we got rolling, it was just hop on and try to be a part of it,” Moran said.
Trevor Williams (7-6) went seven innings and allowed three runs on seven hits in helping the Pirates win for the fifth time in seven games. He struck out six and walked none.
“We were really attacking the zone on the edges, to both sides and then we went up in the zone when we needed to,” Williams said.
The Pirates have won 12 of their last 16 games played in Colorado, dating to July 27, 2014.
Gonzalez (0-6) trailed 3-0 before getting his first out and was down 7-0 when he exited in favor of Yency Almonte with two outs in the first in his shortest start of the season.
“It was a terrible outing,” Gonzalez said. “I didn’t give my team a chance to win. The few times I threw a slider, it was like a slow fastball. The second pitch of the game, I gave up a home run. I missed spots and continued to miss spots.”
The Rockies did make a game of it late.
Trailing 11-3 going into their half of the eighth, the Rockies sent 10 men to the plate and scored five runs, all with two outs. Pinch-hitter Yonathan Daza started the rally with a two-out triple and, after Daniel Murphy walked, Ryan McMahon followed with a two-run double and Ian Desmond hit an RBI double.
Michael Feliz relieved Montana DuRapau and Sam Hilliard worked the count full before driving an opposite field homer deep into the left field bleachers.
With runners at first and second, Francisco Liriano came on to strike out Yonder Alonso to end the inning. Felipe Vazquez got three outs for his 24th save.
It was the seventh loss in eight games for the Rockies, who were eliminated from postseason contention with Wednesday night’s 7-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
Murphy had a single and double to drive in three runs for Colorado.
Osuna had an RBI double in the second and homered on the first pitch he saw from Almonte in the fourth as the Pirates pulled in front 10-3.
In the fifth, Newman drove a 1-1 pitch from Jesus Tinoco over the fence in left-center for the first multihomer game of his career. His four hits matched a career-best.
Pirates: Prior to the game, RHP Chris Stratton was placed on the 10-day injured list with right side inflammation. Also, RHP Yefry Ramirez was placed on the IL with a right calf strain. Filling the roster vacancies were RHP Parker Markel and RHP Montana DuRapau, both recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Rockies: RHP Scott Oberg, transferred to the 60-day injured list after undergoing season-ending surgery earlier this month to resolve blood clot issues in his right arm, is making good progress in his recovery. Manager Bud Black said the team is closely monitoring Oberg and is optimistic he’ll be ready for spring training. … LHP Kyle Freeland, placed on the 10-day IL with a left groin strain a week ago, is gradually increasing physical conditioning work. He has begun playing catch and is getting closer to throwing off a mound, though that has not yet been scheduled.
Pirates: Rookie RHP Dario Agrazal (3-3, 4.41 ERA) is slated to make his 10th career start and first against the Rockies. He’s coming off a win in his last outing in which he beat Cincinnati, going five innings and allowing four runs.
Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela (8-8, 6.75 ERA) picked up the victory in his last start at Coors Field on July 14, despite allowing eight runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He has three quality starts to his credit in Denver this season.
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