A strong start from Erik Bedard helped the Pirates bounce back Tuesday night, winning 6-2.
The Rockies scored first thanks to an error by Alex Presley in the third, but Andrew McCutchen led off the fourth with a ridiculous 442-foot homer that had even some Rockies fans cheering. (It landed here.)
Bedard walked Wilin Rosario to lead off the bottom of the inning, though, and Josh Rutledge hit a ball to right that rattled around in the corner a bit. Drew Sutton had trouble getting to it -- the Pirates' corner outfield defense seems to be terrible recently regardless of who's out there. Bedard struck out the next two batters and stranded Rutledge at third, keeping the Pirates within a run.
Michael McKenry and Clint Barmes walked to lead off the fifth. With one out, Presley brought home McKenry with a grounder, and then the Pirates got three straight two-out singles. The first two of those were grounders (an RBI single by Sutton and a knock by McCutchen, after which Sutton came home on a wild pitch), and the third, a sort of wimpy line drive by Casey McGehee, wasn't hit all that hard, so the Pirates got a bit of luck to get a big inning. Neil Walker actually hit yet another two-out single to move McGehee to third, but Pedro Alvarez struck out to end it.
In the bottom of the inning, the Pirates got a great double play by Barmes and Walker to give Bedard a bit of a lift. Afterwards -- and feel free to skip the rest of this paragraph if you're not interested in social commentary -- Greg Brown said, "Two more scoops of vanilla! Barmes and Walker, how about that play? The Blue-Collar Boys!" I often watch with the sound way down, but I'm told Brown has said similar things before. It doesn't really matter where it comes from; you can't say stuff like this, which plays into all kinds of racial stereotypes. "Vanilla" apparently refers to Barmes and Walker not being particularly showy players, not to their skin color, but the coupling with "blue-collar" is cringe-worthy. The fact that Walker, at least, is demonstrably not blue-collar (being the son of a former major-leaguer) shows pretty clearly what a strange thing this is to call these guys. I'm sure Brown didn't mean anything terrible by it, but it needs to stop. Anyway, it set off a firestorm on Twitter, and I'm sure Brown is going to hear about it.
Anyway, Bedard, who hasn't gone seven innings since early June, ended up loading the bases with two outs in the seventh. Clint Hurdle called on Jared Hughes, who got a big Michael Cuddyer fly out to preserve the Pirates' lead.
Michael McKenry hit an RBI double to the gap in right-center in the eighth to give the Pirates a 6-2 lead. Chris Resop got through the bottom of the inning.
Juan Cruz got two outs in the ninth before walking two batters, generally throwing nowhere near the zone. He was replaced by Joel Hanrahan, who walked a batter himself before whiffing Tyler Colvin to end it.