July 15, 2024

Pirates romp 14-3 for sweep, send Rockies to 8th loss in row

Colorado Rockies' Ryan McMahon follows the flight of his RBI-double off Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Dauri Moreta in the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, April 19, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — Rodolfo Castro hit a 458-foot homer and drove in four runs, leading Pittsburgh over the Colorado Rockies 14-3 Wednesday to complete the Pirates’ first three-game sweep at Denver since 2019.
Colorado has lost eight straight games, its longest skid since nine in a row last Aug. 27 to Sept. 4. The Rockies are a National League-worst 5-14 and the game drew 18,511, the smallest crowd for a Coors Field game with unrestricted ticket sales since 18,341 on April 18, 2013.
Pittsburgh won the first and third games of the series by identical scores and outscored Colorado 33-9 this week, the Pirates’ most runs in a three-game series since July 28-30, 2000, against San Diego.
“I’m pretty excited right now, not because of myself, but the whole group,” Castro said. “All the work that we have put in together since spring training, it’s showing up now, and we’re winning some games. That’s always exciting.”
Andrew McCutchen put the Pirates ahead in the first with an RBI double off Austin Gomber (0-4) and hit a 442-foot home run to center field in the second as Pittsburgh took a 9-0 lead. The 2013 NL MVP, back with the Pirates for the first time in six years, is hitting .310 with four homers and nine RBIs in 17 games.
Pittsburgh has won eight of its past 10 road games and has swept two road series, matching its 2022 season total. The Pirates matched their season high of 14 runs and had 18 hits, one shy of their most.
“It’s just a matter of timely hitting,” McCutchen said. “Things happen that way in this game. For me, I’ve been around enough. I’m not gonna get too high on it. It’s one of those things where it was a good series. We took care of business. We won games we were supposed to win.”
Johan Oviedo (2-1) gave up one run and three hits in six innings with six strikeouts and three walks. The 25-year-old right-hander has allowed two earned runs over 19 2/3 innings in his past three starts.
Gomber gave up nine runs, matching his career high, nine hits and three walks in two innings. His ERA is 12.12 and he tied Washington’s Josiah Gray and San Francisco’s Logan Webb for the major league lead in losses.
Connor Joe, who played during the previous two seasons in Colorado, and Jason Delay each had three hits for the Pirates. Delay’s bases-loaded, line-drive single in the first drove in two runs for a 5-0 lead.
“It’s a fun vibe,” Joe said. “It has been all year. We’re continuing it. We’re dancing. We’re celebrating everything. The small things. The homers. It’s a good vibe in the clubhouse. We’re happy and looking to continue this run.”
Ryan McMahon had three of Colorado’s five hits.
LF Bryan Reynolds was ejected in the fifth inning after arguing with umpire Adam Beck about a called third strike that ended the inning. Reynolds was replaced in left field by Jack Suwinski, who shifted from center.
Pirates: 1B Ji Man Choi is expected to miss the next eight weeks with a left Achilles tendon strain. … LHP Rob Zastryzny will be sidelined seven to 10 weeks with a left ulnar neuritis. … LHP Jarlín García still can’t pick up or throw a ball as he deals with a nerve injury in his left upper arm. … RHP Chase De Jong will throw batting practice this week. He is on the 15-day IL with a lumbar spine muscle strain.
Rockies: RHP Daniel Bard was activated from the 15-day IL and threw nine pitches in a perfect eighth inning. He had been sidelined since spring training by anxiety.
Pirates: RHP Roansy Contreras (1-1) starts on Thursday against visiting Cincinnati, which gives RHP Luke Weaver his season debut.
Rockies: RHP Ryan Feltner (0-2) starts at Philadelphia on Thursday, entering with an 8.78 ERA. LHP Matt Strahm (1-1) starts for the Phillies.