For three and two-thirds innings, the Pirates’ game against the Rockies looked disturbingly familiar. Facing yet another random, nondescript starter in Kyle Freeland, the Pirates had managed just a walk and a single, and trailed 1-0.
Then a funny thing happened. Freeland walked David Freese and Sean Rodriguez lined his second HR into the seats in the left field corner to give the Bucs their first lead of the series.
Rodriguez’ longball seemed to remind his teammates what the wood things are for and the onslaught began. They picked up another run on a Max Moroff double. Even Chad Kuhl hit the ball hard in making the last out of the fourth. The Pirates added three more in the fifth, culminating in a two-run double by Freese at the end of a ten-pitch at-bat. They made it 7-1 in the sixth when Colin Moran, batting for Kuhl, doubled and Adam Frazier drove him in.
Before departing, Kuhl scuffled quite a bit, walking three, hitting one and taking 98 pitches to get through six. He got some BABIP regression, though, allowing only four hits and stranding two runners three times. The only damage came on a Chris Iannetta long fly in the third.
Kyle Crick followed Kuhl and fanned two in a scoreless inning. Then Enny Romero made his Pirates debut, giving up a run on three hits in two innings of work, while fanning three. Romero even contributed his first major league hit, a double on which he stutter-stepped around first like he’d never seen it before. He even ended up scoring his first run on a two-run double by Josh Bell, as the Pirates made it 10-2 with a three-run eighth.
The Pirates totaled 13 hits, three of them by Frazier, and two each by Bell and Elias Diaz. Bell had three RBIs. Now 12-6, they’ll head to Philadelphia for four games against the Phillies, who’ll enter their game tonight with a 10-6 record.