Colorado at Pittsburgh

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Colorado (40-57)0000020000271
Pittsburgh (51-46) «0010001001380

Pirates walk off in 11 against Rockies; Tulo leaves early

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Nobody plays more one-run games than the Pittsburgh Pirates.

No wonder they are starting to look so comfortable when things get tight.

Jordy Mercer doubled home Neil Walker with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the Pirates to a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.

Pittsburgh improved to 23-17 in one-run games this season, including 16-8 at home.

"We feel like we're never out of anything, especially in this ballpark," Mercer said. "We just kind of feed off each other and string together some good at bats, and good things happen."

Walker led off the inning with a single against Colorado's Chad Bettis (0-2), moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored one batter later when Mercer hit a drive deep into the gap in left-center.

"He's capable of driving in runs," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Mercer, who is batting .358 in July. "He's getting more confidence every time he takes the field. Nights like tonight, when you can end it like that in a walk-off, just add to that."

Jared Hughes (5-2) earned the win after escaping a two-on, one-out jam in the 11th by snagging a line drive from Charlie Blackmon and turning it into a double play.

"I threw the pitch, it was going to where I wanted it to, and he did an excellent job of getting to it and hitting a line drive. I did not see it," Hughes said. "I feel like it just went right into my glove."

Walker went 3 for 5 with two runs scored for the Pirates, who moved to within 2.5 games of first-place Milwaukee and St. Louis in the crowded NL Central.

Carlos Gonzalez hit a two-run homer for the Rockies, who lost All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in the fourth inning to a left thigh cramp.

Tulowitzki, who leads the majors in batting average (.340) and runs (71), hit a slow roller to shortstop in the fourth against Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton and grabbed his leg while nearing first base. He walked gingerly to the dugout before being replaced by Josh Rutledge.

"Nothing serious," Tulowitzki said. "We'll see how I wake up [Sunday]. The good news is I don't think I tore anything or did anything to where I'm going to miss an extended period of time."

Colorado starter Brett Anderson, acquired in a trade from Oakland last December following a humbling season in which he went from Opening Day starter to the bullpen, spent seven innings keeping the Pirates off balance with a dizzying array of breaking balls.

The left-hander allowed one run and struck out eight with just one walk, his only flub being consecutive doubles by Walker and Gaby Sanchez in the fourth that put Pittsburgh in front.

He retired the last 12 batters he faced and was in position to earn his first win since April 7, 2013, when Gonzalez took a curveball from Morton in the seventh and sent it streaking into the seats above the Roberto Clemente Wall in right field.

"I think I threw more pitches tonight than I did in two-plus years," Anderson said. "I feel like I battled pretty well and gave us a chance."

For the second straight night, however, Colorado's bullpen faltered.

Pittsburgh scored three times on Friday after Rockies' starter Jorge De La Rosa exited to pull out a 4-2 win. The Pirates put a similar rally together 24 hours later when Anderson left after 110 pitches.

Two walks and a single off Adam Ottavino with one out in the eighth loaded the bases, and Walker laced a single to right against Tommy Kahnle to score Josh Harrison and tie the game. A perfect throw from Gonzalez in right nailed Andrew McCutchen at the plate and kept it even.

The wayward curveball Morton surrendered to Gonzalez marred an otherwise steady outing for the resurgent right-hander. Morton gave up two runs and five hits, striking out three and walking one, a performance that raised his ERA at PNC Park this season to 2.18.

Notes

The Pirates held LF Starling Marte out of the lineup. Marte left Friday night's win in the eighth inning as a precaution after getting hit in the head with a fastball by Ottavino. ... Colorado 1B Justin Morneau sat out his second straight game with a stiff neck. Morneau hopes to play Sunday in the series finale. Morneau played 25 games for the Pirates at the end of the 2013 season, batting .260 while helping Pittsburgh to its first playoff berth in 21 years. ... Pittsburgh's Jeff Locke (2-1, 2.89 ERA) faces Colorado's Tyler Matzek (1-4, 4.97) on Sunday.

 
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Jordy Mercer receives a Gatorade bath after doubling home the winning run for Pittsburgh.  (USATSI)
Jordy Mercer receives a Gatorade bath after doubling home the winning run for Pittsburgh. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Colorado

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

N. Walker
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

Related Video

Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGSLGOBP
Charlie Blackmon, CF4010012.305.477.351
Nolan Arenado, 3B4110011.284.453.308
Carlos Gonzalez, RF3112100.253.452.303
Troy Tulowitzki, SS2000011.340.603.432
   Josh Rutledge, SS2010000.287.435.353
Corey Dickerson, LF4020001.332.576.398
Wilin Rosario, C4000003.242.414.277
Charlie Culberson, 1B3000020.195.317.244
DJ LeMahieu, 2B3000000.279.347.334
Brett Anderson, P2000000.125.250.125
   a-Brandon Barnes, PH1000010.249.395.293
   Rex Brothers, P0000000.000.000.000
   Adam Ottavino, P0000000.000.000.000
   Tommy Kahnle, P0000000.000.000.000
   Brooks Brown, P0000000.000.000.000
   b-Drew Stubbs, PH1010000.296.500.335
   Chad Bettis, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals3327216    
a-struck out for Anderson in the 8th
b-singled for Brown in the 11th
Batting
2B - Nolan Arenado (20, Morton)
HR - Carlos Gonzalez (9, Morton)
SH - DJ LeMahieu (6)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez 2 (34)
CS - Charlie Blackmon (5, 2nd base by Morton/Martin), Corey Dickerson (5, 2nd base by Morton/Martin)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Carlos Gonzalez 1
E - Nolan Arenado (9, Throwing)
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brett Anderson 7411180 4.00
Rex Brothers (H,14) 0.1000000 4.31
Adam Ottavino 0111200 4.09
Tommy Kahnle (BS,1) 1.2100110 2.56
Brooks Brown 1000010 7.71
Chad Bettis (L,0-2) 0.1211100 8.87
IBB - Alvarez by Chad Bettis
WP - Adam Ottavino (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Anderson 110-70, Rex Brothers 5-3, Adam Ottavino 19-8, Tommy Kahnle 18-10, Brooks Brown 10-7, Chad Bettis 15-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Anderson 10-4, Tommy Kahnle 2-1, Brooks Brown 2-0, Chad Bettis 1-0
Batters Faced - Brett Anderson 27, Rex Brothers 1, Adam Ottavino 3, Tommy Kahnle 6, Brooks Brown 3, Chad Bettis 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGSLGOBP
Gregory Polanco, RF5000011.255.336.342
Josh Harrison, LF4100120.291.441.328
Andrew McCutchen, CF4010100.320.566.418
Russell Martin, C5010012.271.387.396
Neil Walker, 2B5231010.277.449.348
Gaby Sanchez, 1B2011100.239.428.297
   a-Travis Snider, PH1000012.240.351.320
   Mark Melancon, P0000000.000.000.000
   Justin Wilson, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jared Hughes, P0000000.000.000.000
   b-Chris Stewart, PH0000000.238.250.330
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4010111.237.408.326
Jordy Mercer, SS4011112.250.360.290
Charlie Morton, P2000013.063.063.063
   c-Michael Martinez, PH1000010.000.000.250
   Ernesto Frieri, P0000000.000.000.000
   Ike Davis, 1B1000000.233.343.352
Totals38383510    
a-struck out for G. Sanchez in the 8th
b-hit a sacrifice bunt for Hughes in the 11th
c-struck out for Morton in the 7th
Batting
2B - Neil Walker (13, Anderson), Gaby Sanchez (13, Anderson), Jordy Mercer (15, Bettis)
SH - Chris Stewart (2)
RBI - Neil Walker (44), Gaby Sanchez (16), Jordy Mercer (29)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Mercer-Walker-G. Sanchez, Mercer-Walker-G. Sanchez-Alvarez-Walker-G. Sanchez, Mercer-Walker-G. Sanchez-Alvarez-Walker-G. Sanchez-Mercer-Walker-Davis, Mercer-Walker-G. Sanchez-Alvarez-Walker-G. Sanchez-Mercer-Walker-Davis-Hughes-Alvarez
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Charlie Morton 7522131 3.28
Ernesto Frieri 1000020 7.00
Mark Melancon 1000010 2.27
Justin Wilson 1100000 4.62
Jared Hughes (W,5-2) 1100000 1.79
HBP - Blackmon (by Charlie Morton), Culberson (by Jared Hughes)
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 91-64, Ernesto Frieri 14-9, Mark Melancon 5-5, Justin Wilson 5-5, Jared Hughes 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 9-5, Ernesto Frieri 1-0, Mark Melancon 1-1, Justin Wilson 2-0, Jared Hughes 1-1
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 24, Ernesto Frieri 3, Mark Melancon 3, Justin Wilson 3, Jared Hughes 4
Game Information
Attendance - 37396
Game Time - 3:31
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Clint Fagan, Third Base - Tim Timmons