PITTSBURGH — In what has been happening all too often of late, the Pittsburgh Pirates failed to cash in on an opportunity to blow the game open against the Colorado Rockies.
The missed opportunity led to the Pirates falling 4-3 to the Rockies at PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon.
The Pirates (21-17) loaded the bases with nobody out and the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, but were unable to push across the go-ahead run.
Connor Joe struck out and was followed by a Rodolfo Castro flyout to center field. Bryan Reynolds attempted to score on the play, but was thrown out at home to end the inning.
The very next time the Rockies (16-22) came to bat, they too loaded the bases with nobody out against Robert Stephenson (0-1). Jurickson Profar singled to left to put the Rockies up 4-3, but Stephenson was able to limit it to just that after retiring the next three.
Nonetheless, the damage was done as the Rockies’ bullpen shut out the Pirates in the following three innings to hold onto the win.
The Pirates again had a chance in the bottom of the ninth with runners on second and third with two outs for pinch hitter Josh Palacios, but Palacios went down swinging.
With two outs in the second inning, Tucupita Marcano hit his first homer of the season with a straightaway shot to center to put the Pirates ahead 1-0. It was his first career home run at PNC Park.
It had been nearly a year since Marcano last homered, with his last coming on May 31 of last season against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In the third, Reynolds lined a two-out double off of the Clemente Wall in right. Andrew McCutchen followed with a 403-foot bomb to left-center.
McCutchen finished the game 3 for 3 with a walk. It was his first multi-hit game since Apr. 19, which was also against the Rockies and his second three-hit performance of the season.
The Rockies struck back in the top of the third inning off of Rich Hill when Randal Grichuk doubled home Ezequiel Tovar to make it a 3-1 game.
Hill committed an error on the next play, allowing Ryan McMahon to reach. The error proved to be costly as Austin Wynns dumped an RBI single to left field to trim the Pirates’ lead to just one. Alan Trejo, the next batter, singled to right to tie the game.
That was it for Hill, who was replaced in the game by Dauri Moreta. Moreta stranded a pair to keep the game tied 3-3.
Only one of the three runs on Hill’s line were earned due to the error he committed. He allowed four hits, walked a pair and struck out four in 3.2 innings.
Moreta gave the Pirates two innings of spotless relief, extending his scoreless innings streak to eight. The right-hander struck out three.
With the loss, the Pirates fall to 1-9 in their last 10 games.
After an off day on Thursday, the Pirates will head to Baltimore for a three-game series with the Orioles beginning Friday night. Johan Oviedo (2-3, 5.59 ERA) will look to get back on track on the mound for the Pirates. The Orioles have yet to announce their starter. First pitch: 7:05.