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Bucs get strong start from Brubaker in win

Young right-hander looks sharp in 2-1 victory over Colorado Rockies

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Yoshi Tsutsugo’s eighth-inning RBI single powered the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies Monday night at PNC Park.

Tsutsugo’s infield hit brought home Ke’Bryan Hayes, who opened the inning with a single and after a fly out, stole second and then advanced to third on Daniel Vogelbach’s ground out.

Reliever David Bednar nailed down the win, and the Pirates got a solid start from right-hander JT Brubaker, who limited the Rockies to just three hits over the first six innings before running into trouble in the seventh.

Brubaker, who racked up 10 strikeouts in his previous start, was more economical Monday night, as he needed just 78 pitches to get through the first six innings.

But in the seventh, Brubaker yielded consecutive singles to Jose Iglesias and Sam Hilliard after retiring Randal Grichuk to open the inning.

Brubaker got former Pirate Elias Dias to pop out for the second out of the inning, and Pirates manager Derek Shelton elected to pull Brubaker in favor of Wil Crowe.

Crowe escaped the jam by getting former Pirate property Connor Joe to line out to center for the inning’s final out.

On the night, Brubaker gave up five hits, walked two and struck out four in his 6 2/3 innings.

The Bucs staked Brubaker to a 1-0 lead with a first-inning run off former Pirate Chad Kuhl. Leadoff hitter Ben Gamel drew a walk, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Hayes’ double.

Bryan Reynolds’ walk put runners at first and second, but Kuhl escaped further damage by retiring the next three batters consecutively.

The Rockies tied the score in the fourth on a leadoff walk to Ryan McMahon, an errant throw by Brubaker and a double-play grounder by Grichuk.