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Pirates hang on in rubber game, win 4-3

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Archer earned his first win in a Pirates uniform as the Bucs secured the series victory in Colorado.

Archer was solid through the first three innings, retiring the first eight batters he faced until German Marquez broke up the no-no with a single to left. The Rockies finally struck in the 4th inning after DJ LeMahieu singled to lead off the inning and David Dahl followed it up with a long home run to right center field. Archer was able to labor through the next six outs without allowing any runs. His final line was 5 IP 5 H 2 ER 2 BB 3 SO.

Thankfully, Pittsburgh was able to provide Chris some run support. The Pirates jumped on German Marquez early when Marte reached on a single, swiped second base, and then scored on Polanco’s double off the wall in the 1st inning. After a Cervelli strikeout, Moran singled in Polanco for the second run of the frame.

Pittsburgh continued their offensive effort in the 3rd inning when Moran delivered a one out single to left, Frazier followed with a double to right, and Josh Bell delivered the RBI ground out that would plate the Pirates’ third run.

The Pirates threatened to continue their offensive production in the 5th inning after Cervelli walked to lead off the inning and Frazier stayed red hot with a double to left. However, the scoring likelihood in the inning was drastically reduced when Cervelli rounded third base on Frazier’s double. Gerardo Parra and Trevor Story teamed up to deliver a perfect relay to the plate to cut Cervelli down for the second out of the inning. Josh Bell struck out to ultimately end the threat and the inning, leaving Frazier on third base.

After Pittsburgh and Colorado traded scoreless innings of relief, courtesy of Santana, Kela, and Oh, the Pirates plated an insurance run in the 8th on a Corey Dickerson sacrifice fly. And it was a good thing they did.

Kyle Crick entered the 8th inning in relief and immediately put the first two runners on via a HPB of Arenado and a single to Story. After getting Parra to pop out, Ryan McMahon singled to center, bringing Colorado within one run.

With Colorado runners at the corners, Crick made quick work of the pinch hitting Ian Desmond, striking him out on four pitches.

That was it for Crick’s night as Vazquez came in to face the PH Chris Iannetta and secure the four out save. On the fourth pitch of the at bat, Iannetta roped a ball that was ticketed for the right field grass until Frazier made a diving play and fired to first base to record the third out of the inning and end the scoring threat.

Both Pittsburgh and Colorado went three up, three down in the 9th inning, ending the game in the Pirates’ favor.

Final Score: Pirates 4, Rockies 3

W: Archer (4-5) L: Marquez (9-9) SV: Vazquez (26)

Pittsburgh will head to San Francisco to open up a four game set against the Giants. Ivan Nova is set to take on Andrew Suarez in game one of the series, Thursday at 10:15 pm EDT.