The Pittsburgh Pirates are taking advantage of the hitter-friendly Coors Field, as they’ve scored 20 runs combined in the first two contests of the four game series. They defeated the Colorado Rockies by a score of 9-4 on Friday night. Starter Dario Agrazal let up plenty of hits, but he pitched respectively in his five innings of work, and the offense gave him plenty of room to breathe.
The Pirates started quickly in the top of the first off of right-handed starter Antonio Senzatela. After two quick outs on seven pitches, Senzatela allowed three straight singles to Starling Marte, Josh Bell, and Colin Moran, the last of which drove in a run, and the Bucs led 1-0 heading to the bottom of the first. It didn’t last long though, as Trevor Story connected with a leadoff solo homer to tie the game. Agrazal let up two more singles in the first, but escaped with the score still tied.
Adam Frazier led off with a double down the right field line, he was moved over on an Elias Diaz groundout, and Agrazal did more than enough, flying out to foul territory in right, and scoring Frazier easily on a sacrifice fly. Kevin Newman singled and Bryan Reynolds doubled, but Marte couldn’t do the job with two outs, and the Pirates ended their half of the second inning up by a count of 2-1.
Agrazal pitched well in the next three innings, allowing just two isolated singles. The Bucs tacked on another security run for him in the top of the fourth when Reynolds hit another two-out double, this time scoring Kevin Newman from first. Reynolds was thrown out at third trying to stretch it to a triple, but it gave Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead.
One inning later, after a Marte single and Bell walk, Melky Cabrera launched a 1-1 slider that was way out of the zone inside, and he trotted around the bases with that trademark Melky grin. The Rockies came back and scored one in the bottom of the fifth on a Story double and Ryan McMahon RBI single, but it was still all Pirates after five innings by a score of 6-2.
Agrazal started the bottom of the sixth inning, but he immediately let up a double by Ian Desmond and an RBI single by Sam Hilliard. He was lifted at that point for reliever Richard Rodriguez, who promptly worked two swinging strikeouts and a flyout to end the threat. It would’ve been great to see Agrazal work a quality start, but three earned runs in five innings of work at Coors Field is a fine outing for the youngster.
The Pirates offense wasn’t done though, as they pushed two more runs across in the seventh inning. Bell singled home Marte after his leadoff double, and Diaz singled home Moran before getting thrown out between first and second on the play. The Pirates led 8-3 after seven innings. Desmond homered in the eighth off of Francisco Liriano, Josh Bell dropped in another RBI single in the top of the ninth, and Geoff Hartlieb finished off the ninth inning the give the Bucs the 9-4 win.
The Bucs and Rockies will meet again on Saturday night at 8:10 pm Eastern for game three of the series. The Rockies will look to get off the schneid, and Pittsburgh can pass Colorado in the standings with a win on Saturday. Joe Musgrove will face off against right-hander Tim Melville.