The Colorado Rockies (35-33) carried a 2-1 lead into the fifth inning last night, before starter Christian Friedrich gave up four runs, creating a deficit the Rockies could not overcome, eventually losing to the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates (50-40) 6-2. The rubber game of the series is this afternoon at 1:10 at Coors Field (TV: Root Sports).

Friedrich (5-7) is following a common rookie pattern of steps forward, like his victory over the Phillies Friday night, followed by step backs like Tuesday night. He took a 2-1 lead into the fifth, but opened the frame with walks to No. 7 hitter Michael McKenry and struggling No. 8 hitter Clint Barmes -- who has walked just five times in 276 plate appearances -- to begin his demise.

"It's dealing with adversity," Friedrich said. "You've got to try to find a way to learn from it. That's what I'm trying to do with every outing, take the positive and make it a lesson. Not constantly having mistake after mistake."

Rockies hitters had plenty of chances to overcome Friedrich's struggles. They left the bases loaded three times, including in the bottom of the ninth, and also had a runner at third with no outs in the fourth and didn't bring him home.

The Rockies had four shots at big innings against Pirates starter Erik Bedard, but did little with them.

Jordan Pacheco grounded to short with the bases loaded to end the first.

Carlos Gonzalez came up with two on and no outs in the third, but grounded into a double play. The Rockies would manage a run in the third when left fielder Presley dropped Michael Cuddyer's line drive, but nothing more.

Wilin Rosario walked to open the fourth and Josh Rutledge tripled him home -- his fourth RBI in five games since being promoted from Double-A Tulsa. But Friedrich and Eric Young Jr. took called third strikes, and Marco Scutaro flied to center.

Bedard walked the final two batters he faced, Dexter Fowler (2-for-4) and Gonzalez, in the seventh, but reliever Jared Hughes forced Cuddyer to fly to deep center.

In the ninth, Juan Cruz walked Marco Scutaro and Fowler with two outs. Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan walked Cuddyer, but struck out pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin to earn his 25th save.

Tickets are available for this afternoon's game vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates at Coors Field, and can be purchased by calling (800) 388-ROCK, or click here.