The Pirates scored early and often, putting up zeroes in only the third and eighth innings, and Trevor Williams survived a hard luck first to work into the seventh as the Pirates rolled over the Rockies for a 13-5 victory, putting them only two games behind the first place Brewers.
After the Pirates plated a pair in the top of the first on singles by Josh Bell and David Freese, the Rockies replied with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning on four well placed hits - but from then on Trevor Williams efficiently mowed down Colorado, facing only one batter over the minimum the next five innings - Nolan Arenado’s 22nd homer in the sixth. Williams was extremely efficient, throwing between 10 and 12 pitches in each of those five innings.
Rockies’ starter Jeff Hoffman, however, allowed nine hits, four walks and a hit batsmen in three plus innings, throwing 82 pitches.
Down 3-2 in the top of the second, the Pirates loaded the bases without a hit when Williams walked, Marte was hit by a pitch and McCutchen walked. Bell then bounced the first pitch he saw off the right-center wall for a three run double.
Pittsburgh scored two more in the fourth on a McCutchen single and a ground out by Gregory Polanco, who had to leave the game after suffering discomfort in his left hamstring while busting it down the line to avoid hitting into a double play.
McCutchen had another RBI single in the fifth and the oft-derided Jordy Mercer smacked a 444 foot two-run homer to left in the sixth.
Williams left with two outs in the seventh after throwing 104 pitches. Reliever Jhan Marinez threw the final 2 1⁄3 innings, and doubled off the right-center wall for his first major league hit.
Every Pirate who came to the plate reached base and only John Jaso failed to get a hit as the team put 23 runners on base. McCutchen had three singles and two walks, Cervelli had three hits including a triple, and Marte had two hits, two stolen bases and scored four times.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 8:10 p.m. Eastern, as Chad Kuhl (3-6, 4.85) takes on German Marques (7-4, 4.34)