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Pittsburgh at Colorado

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Pittsburgh (44-51)003000000351
Colorado (40-57) «00020300x590

Iannetta's three RBI aid Jimenez's strong start

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies expected Chris Iannetta to be their catcher of the future in 2007.

A year later, he's living up to that promise.

Iannetta hit a broken-bat, two-run homer in the sixth and drove in three runs and Ubaldo Jimenez pitched seven innings to lead help the Rockies snap a four-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.

Iannetta was the Rockies' opening day catcher last year before losing the job to Yorvit Torrealba. He didn't play during Colorado's run to the World Series, but he has emerged as the starter this season.

"I didn't feel like myself and I couldn't explain why," said Iannetta, who hit just .218 last year and spent time in Triple-A. "I'd swing at balls that I would normally would hit well and swing right through it. This year I'm getting the same pitches and I'm able to barrel them up."

This year he's hitting .281 and feeling confident. He's also showing more power. His sixth-inning home run broke a 3-all tie, and it came off of a bat Iannetta said he cracked in his previous at-bat.

"I think the bat was already broken. Maple bats, you can't always tell," he said. "I hit it good. I was a little surprised the bat broke."

So was Pirates starter Paul Maholm.

"I don't know what to say," said Maholm, who struck out seven and didn't walk a batter. "I throw a first-pitch changeup away, he breaks his bat and he hits it 10 rows deep. There's nothing I can do about that."

Until the sixth inning, Maholm (6-6) was on his way to his fifth straight victory. But he surrendered a 3-2 lead on doubles by Jeff Baker and Garrett Atkins, and one pitch later Iannetta homered to left.

"I made some bad pitches," said Maholm, who lost for the first time since dropping a 7-2 decision to Milwaukee on May 20. "You want to get a guy to snap his bat. Usually when you get a guy out in front of a pitch and he breaks his bat, the ball stays in the park."

That was enough for Jimenez, who struggled early in the game but settled down. Jimenez (5-9) threw 70 pitches through the first three innings and then retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced on 39 pitches. The only batter to reach after the third inning was wiped out in an inning-ending double play in the sixth.

"I was able to pitch inside to hitters," said Jimenez, who had four strikeouts and two walks.

His roughest inning was the third. With two outs, Nate McLouth scored on a wild pitch, and after Jason Bay walked to put runners on first and second, Adam LaRoche doubled to the gap in right-center field to score Bay and Freddy Sanchez and make it 3-0.

"In the third you saw two walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's a good sign he was able to recover."

The Pirates had two baserunners after the third inning, and Brian Fuentes struck out the side in the ninth for his 15th save this season and 100th of his career.

"You've got to be good to get 100," Hurdle said. "They don't hand them out."

The Rockies got two runs back in the third when Willy Taveras led off with a single and scored on Baker's double to right. Two outs later, Iannetta singled up the middle to drive in Baker and make it 3-2.

Notes

  • The Pirates recalled RHP Marino Salas from Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday.
  • Rockies RHP Kip Wells could be activated from the DL on Monday. Wells, out since April 29 for surgery to remove a blood clot from his pitching hand, went 6 2/3 innings in a rehab assignment Wednesday at Double-A Tulsa.
  • Baker had two doubles and two runs scored.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Chris Iannetta is in no rush after hitting his 10th homer of the season in the sixth inning.  (AP)
Chris Iannetta is in no rush after hitting his 10th homer of the season in the sixth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

C. Iannetta
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Pittsburgh

A. LaRoche
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nate McLouth, CF4110000 .280
Freddy Sanchez, 2B3100000 .224
Ryan Doumit, C3010111 .329
Jason Bay, LF3110111 .288
Adam LaRoche, 1B4022023 .254
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .333
Doug Mientkiewicz, RF-1B2000101 .256
   a- Chris Gomez, PH1000010 .308
Jose Bautista, 3B4000023 .253
Paul Maholm, P2000000 .128
   b- Luis Rivas, PH1000000 .248
    Denny Bautista, P0000000 .200
    Jason Michaels, RF1000010 .233
Jack Wilson, SS3000000 .298
Totals3135238  
a-struck out for Mientkiewicz in the 9th
b-grounded out for Maholm in the 7th
Batting
2B - Adam LaRoche (19, Jimenez)
RBI - Adam LaRoche 2 (45)
2-OUT RBI - Adam LaRoche 2 (14)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Ryan Doumit (3, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Paul Maholm (L,6-6) 6855071 4.10
Denny Bautista 1100200 3.77
Sean Burnett 1000100 4.55
IBB - Nix by Sean Burnett
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 85-62, Denny Bautista 33-17, Sean Burnett 15-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 9-2, Denny Bautista 3-0, Sean Burnett 2-1
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 26, Denny Bautista 6, Sean Burnett 4
Colorado Rockies
Willy Taveras, CF4110001 .247
Jeff Baker, 1B3221100 .270
Matt Holliday, LF4000003 .332
Garrett Atkins, 3B4121001 .306
Chris Iannetta, C3123100 .281
Brad Hawpe, RF4000033 .248
Clint Barmes, SS4020000 .299
Jayson Nix, 2B3000132 .125
Ubaldo Jimenez, P1000010 .053
   a- Scott Podsednik, PH1000000 .217
    Taylor Buchholz, P0000000 .000
   b- Seth Smith, PH1000003 .234
    Brian Fuentes, P0000000 .000
Totals3259537  
a-grounded out for Jimenez in the 7th
b-hit into fielder's choice for Buchholz in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jeff Baker 2 (19, Maholm, Maholm), Garrett Atkins (18, Maholm), Clint Barmes (17, Maholm)
3B - Clint Barmes (3, Maholm)
HR - Chris Iannetta (10, Maholm)
SH - Ubaldo Jimenez (3)
RBI - Jeff Baker (31), Garrett Atkins (55), Chris Iannetta 3 (37)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Iannetta (18)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Barmes-Nix-Baker
PB - Chris Iannetta (5)
Colorado Rockies
Ubaldo Jimenez (W,5-9) 7533240 4.20
Taylor Buchholz (H,16) 1000110 1.79
Brian Fuentes (S,15) 1000030 3.32
HBP - F. Sanchez (by Ubaldo Jimenez)
WP - Ubaldo Jimenez (14)
Pitches-Strikes - Ubaldo Jimenez 109-66, Taylor Buchholz 17-8, Brian Fuentes 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ubaldo Jimenez 12-4
Batters Faced - Ubaldo Jimenez 28, Taylor Buchholz 4, Brian Fuentes 3
Game Information
Attendance - 30584
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Bill Hohn, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Dan Iassogna