Losing Streak Hits Four as Rockies Shut Out Pirates 2-0
The Pittsburgh Pirates (36-54) lost to the Colorado Rockies (43-49), 2-0 at Coors Field on Saturday, July 16.
Despite considerable traffic on the base paths—both teams combined to leave 29 runners on—neither Mitch Keller nor Rockies starter Jose Urena surrendered an earned run.
It was a tale of two different games, however, as Keller’s defense couldn’t back him up—an unearned run was the difference in a shutout loss. The Rockies got hits with runners in scoring position; the Pirates went 0-for-6.
Colorado struck first with two outs in the fifth. Right fielder Connor Joe reached second base on a throwing error by Oneil Cruz, and Kris Bryant lined a slider into the center field grass on the next pitch to bring him home.
The Pirates, for their part, failed to convert on a pair of prime two-out chances. Cruz grounded into a fielder’s choice in the fourth, then stole second base and moved to third on a groundout. Another ground ball, this one to shortstop José Iglesias, ended the scoring threat.
Daniel Vogelbach drew a two-out walk in the sixth and went first-to-third on a single by Cruz. Yoshi Tsutsugo got under a fly ball that couldn’t carry far enough in the mountain air, falling into the glove of center fielder Sam Hilliard.
The Rockies doubled their lead in the seventh. Yerry De Los Santos walked catcher Brian Serven, and Bryant hit a two-out single to put him in scoring position. Charlie Blackmon hit a single of his own that made it 2-0.
Vogelbach led off the ninth with another walk to put the tying run at the plate. Cruz grounded into another fielders choice, flashing his speed to beat the double play attempt. Tsutsugo hit a fly ball that died just before the warning track, and Rockies closer Daniel Bard caught pinch hitter Josh VanMeter looking on a payoff pitch as he held on for the save.
Pittsburgh will attempt to avoid a sweep in the series finale, beginning at 3:10pm on Sunday, July 17. Austin Gomber (5-7, 6.11 ERA) will take the mound for Colorado. The Pirates haven’t announced their starter.