PITTSBURGH – Troy Tulowitzki broke up James McDonald's no-hit bid in the seventh inning and Tyler Colvin hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth to lift the Colorado Rockies over the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 in Wednesday's doubleheader opener.
Matt Reynolds (2-0) won in relief of starter Juan Nicasio. Rafael Betancourt worked the ninth for his sixth save.
Chris Resop (0-2) lost after relieving McDonald in the eighth.
McDonald was nearly flawless before Tulowitzki's infield single with one on in the seventh. McDonald gave up one run and one hit in seven innings, striking out eight and walking three. Pedro Alvarez homered for the Pirates, who had nine hits but again struggled to generate runs.
Pittsburgh set an NL record and tied a major league mark by playing its 17th straight game starting the season in which neither team scored more than five runs, matching the standard set by the 1943 Detroit Tigers.
McDonald flirted with the first Pirates no-hitter since Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon combined over 10 innings against the Astros on July 12, 1997
The right-hander's only stumble early came in the fifth, when he hit Jason Giambi with a pitch and then walked Michael Cuddyer. He wiggled out when he got Rosario to ground into a double play and struck out Chris Nelson.
McDonald wasn't so fortunate in the seventh. He walked Carlos Gonzalez on four pitches and Tulowitzki — who came in batting .383 in his career against the Pirates — hit a sharp grounder to third. Alvarez dived to his left to grab it only to see the ball smack off his glove.
The no-hitter gone, McDonald lost the shutout when a wild pitch advanced the runners and Giambi hit a long fly ball to center.
Alvarez, who came in with the lowest batting average (.108) of any Pittsburgh regular, continued his "all or nothing" approach, sending a Nicasio fastball over the wall in center to tie the score in the bottom of the inning.
The former first-round pick has just five hits this season but three of them are homers.
The tie didn't last long. Resop threw a pitch that hit pinch-hitter Eric Young, who moved to third on Marco Scutaro's single. Colvin followed with a flyball to right off reliever Tony Watson, and Young just beat Jose Tabata's throw to the plate.
NOTES: As part of the new collective bargaining agreement, both teams were allowed to add a roster spot for the doubleheader. The Pirates recalled reliever Jared Hughes from Triple-A Indianapolis while the Rockies brought up reliever Zach Putnam. Hughes pitched a scoreless ninth for Pittsburgh ... The Pirates are off Thursday then begin a six-game trip on Friday in Atlanta. A.J. Burnett (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will face Tommy Hanson (2-2, 3.38 ERA). ... The Rockies are also off Thursday and start a three-game set against the Mets on Friday. Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 6.75 ERA) will start for Colorado. The Mets had not announced a starter.