Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker were in the middle of the Pirates offense once again Tuesday, totaling four hits and three runs scored, as Pittsburgh knocked off Colorado, 6-2, in the second test of a three-game set at Coors Field.
McCutchen, MLB's leading hitter, finished 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored, while Walker extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a 2- for-3 night.
The duo and the rest of the Pirates offense made a winner of Erik Bedard (5-10) for the first time since June 8. The southpaw gave up one earned run on eight hits over 6 2/3 frames.
"We're very happy with his performance, he's happy with his performance," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "A lot of hard work went into it."
Michael McKenry also had a multi-hit game and drove in a run for the Pirates, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Christian Friedrich (5-7) took the loss, giving up five runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts over 4 2/3 frames. He was undone by a four-run fifth in his first career start against the Pirates.
Josh Rutledge hit an RBI triple for the Rockies, who have dropped three of four.
The Rockies looked to be putting together a big inning in the third, as Scutaro singled to left and Fowler bunted for a hit in front of Carlos Gonzalez. Bedard, however, dug in and got Gonzalez to roll over into a 4-6-3 double play. Colorado did put one on the board thanks to a gift from Pirates outfielder Alex Presley, who misjudged Michael Cuddyer's liner, and the ball deflected off his outstretched glove in left for a run-scoring, two-base error.
Pittsburgh evened the contest in its next at-bat with McCutchen's long home run tight to the line in left. Colorado answered with Rutledge's first career triple, a drive that bounced around the right-field corner and allowed Willin Rosario to race home from first.
The pitcher's duel unraveled in the fifth, as Pittsburgh put up a crooked number and took the lead. A pair of walks to McKenry and Clint Barmes came back to hurt the Rockies southpaw, as Bedard bunted them over and Presley's RBI groundout plated the first runner to tie the game.
Drew Sutton's single to right, the first of three straight singles, plated Barmes, and McCutchen's base hit that followed put runners on the corners. A wild pitch plated Sutton and Casey McGehee brought home McCutchen with a soft liner that found real estate in left.
"We stranded 13 runners. The other thing that hurt was the fifth inning. The big mistakes there were the back-to-back walks to set the stage for the inning," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
The Rockies put together a two-out rally in the seventh, as Scutaro singled, while Fowler and Gonzalez worked walks for Cuddyer, who flew out to center to end the threat. Pittsburgh then immediately expanded its lead in the eighth on McKenry's run-scoring double.
Colorado loaded the bases in the ninth, but Joel Hanrahan struck out Tyler Colvin to record his 25th save. The Rockies left the bases loaded three times during the contest.
McCutchen sports a .374 batting average...Presley was activated from seven-day concussion disabled list on Monday...Pittsburgh remained one game back of Cincinnati in the National League Central race...The Colorado Rockies placed infielders Chris Nelson and Jonathan Herrera on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday during a litany of roster moves. The 26-year-old Nelson was admitted to a local hospital on Monday while he underwent tests for an irregular heartbeat. To fill the two roster spots, the Rockies recalled infielder DJ LeMahieu from Triple-A Colorado Springs and selected the contract of outfielder Andrew Brown from the same club. In another roster move, the team transferred pitcher Juan Nicasio from the 15-day disabled list to the 60- day DL.