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Rockies Start Fast, But Fall To Pirates 9-6

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Colorado Rockies (35-56) came out of the gate fast, scoring three runs in the first inning and two in the second, only to see the Pittsburgh Pirates (51-40) take the lead with five of their own in the third, on their way to a 9-6 win over the Rockies. Colorado is off today, before starting a three-game series in San Diego tomorrow night.

Rockies starter Jeremy Guthrie gave up two home runs Wednesday afternoon to lift his season total to a National League-leading 21 — all but seven at Coors Field — as he blew the early lead.

Guthrie wasn’t the only long-ball victim. Six balls total sailed over the fences, and reliever Matt Reynolds (3-1) yielded two in the fifth, for two runs to Casey McGehee and one run to Rod Barajas to take the loss.

But the ones Guthrie gave up — a Pedro Alvarez solo shot in the second and a Garrett Jones three-run job in the third — were particularly problematic, because they allowed the Pirates to erase the Rockies’ early offense.

“It gets tough when you do what we did early in the game, the energy and effort we had to build the lead, and within a matter of hitters give it all back,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.

The Pirates won two of three games and left Coors a half-game behind the National League Central-leading Reds, who were to play host to the D-backs Wednesday night. The Rockies, who on Friday will begin a six-game road trip at San Diego and Arizona, fell to 15-28 at home and haven’t won a series in their park since June 1-3.

Dexter Fowler homered off Pirates starter James McDonald (10-3) to lift his homer total to 12, one more than he managed in 2010 and 2011 combined. Marco Scutaro followed Fowler’s homer with a walk, Carlos Gonzalez made it 3-0 with his 18th home run.

The added two runs in the second and appeared to have Pirates starter James McDonald in trouble. However, Guthrie faced nine batters in the third — six after two were out — and didn’t escape the inning.

Official: Wednesday’s Box Score.

McDonald led off the third with a single. Guthrie forced Alex Presley to line to first and Neil Walker, who saw his hitting streak end at 17 games, struck out. But Guthrie walked Andrew McCutchen before Jones’ blast to right-center, his 13th homer, cut the difference to 5-4. Luck turned against Guthrie when Jordan Pacheco booted McGehee’s grounder to third and Alvarez’s roller to short took a strange squirt past shortstop Josh Rutledge’s glove. Guthrie compounded it by hitting Barajas.

Former Rockie Clint Barmes, who drew a walk to lead to a big inning in the Pirates’ 6-2 victory Tuesday night, singled in two runs to put the Pirates ahead and chase Guthrie.

Gonzalez and Brown came up with two on and two outs in the Rockies’ eighth, but Pirates reliever Tony Watson got Gonzalez to hit a weak groundout and fanned Brown. Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan (26 saves) struck out two in a perfect ninth.

Tickets are available for the Rockies’ next home game at Coors Field vs. the Cincinnati Reds on July 27th, and can be purchased by calling (800) 388-ROCK, or click here.

[ColoradoRockies.com]

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