DENVER (AP) Jack Suwinski homered twice and drove in three runs, Vince Velasquez recovered from a rough start to pitch six solid innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat Colorado 5-3 on Tuesday night, sending the Rockies to a season-high seventh consecutive loss.
Connor Joe had a double and a triple against his former team, and Carlos Santana added an RBI double for the Pirates, who have won seven of their last nine road games.
Kris Bryant homered and Elías Díaz had a two-run double in the first for the Rockies, who did not score over the final eight innings. Velasquez (2-2) allowed five hits, only one after the first. He struck out seven and walked three.
David Bednar gave up a two-out double to Charlie Blackmon in the ninth before striking out C.J. Cron for his fifth save.
The Pirates broke through in a four-run fourth to go in front by two. Joe and Santana hit successive doubles to start the inning and Suwinski followed with his second homer of the night and third in two games. Tucupita Marcano hit a two-out triple and came home on a wild pitch by José Ureña (0-3).
“I kind of came into the game feeling pretty good,” said Suwinski, who homered off position player Alan Trejo in the ninth inning of Monday night’s 14-3 win over the Rockies before connecting in his first two at-bats against Ureña. “I was never trying to do too much, just have quality at-bats. We’ve been working really hard and it’s good to see the (prep) work come into play.”
Suwinski had a solo homer in the second for the Pirates' first run. Ureña has allowed seven home runs in his four starts.
“There were some fastballs elevated that they had good swings at out there,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “There was a slider that didn’t break to Suwinski for the opposite-field homer. He’s got to throw the ball down more consistently.”
Colorado took a 3-0 lead on Bryant’s second homer in two games and Díaz’s two-run double in the first.
Jurickson Profar opened the bottom of the ninth with a sharply hit comebacker that went off Bednar’s hip and rolled toward the first-base line. Bednar bounced off the mound quickly to track it down and flipped the ball underhand to first baseman Joe just ahead of the sprinting Profar.
“I just kind of reacted to it,” Bednar said. “I was just trying to make a play, get the first out of the inning. That’s a huge one.”
WHO’S ON THIRD?
The Rockies shook up their lineup, benching 3B Elehuris Montero and replacing him by moving Ryan McMahon from 2B to 3B, where he played stellar defense last season. Trejo started at 2B. Montero took over at 3B and McMahon shifted to second after 2B Brendan Rodgers, the 2022 NL Gold Glove winner, tore his labrum in spring training, likely costing him this season. Montero, acquired in the trade that sent 3B Nolan Arenado to St. Louis, has struggled defensively early in the season. He was charged with two errors and bobbled a potential inning-ending double-play ball during Monday’s loss.
“We’re going to step back and take a look at our situation at third,” Black said. “It’s been a tough go for Monty in the early going.”
Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela, coming back from left ACL surgery, pitched three innings and threw an additional 15-20 pitches in the bullpen at extended spring training in Arizona. Barring a setback, he’s scheduled to make his first rehab start Sunday for Double-A Hartford and could be ready to rejoin the Rockies in about a month.
RHP Johan Oviedo (1-1, 2.45 ERA) is slated to start Wednesday’s series finale against Colorado LHP Austin Gomber (0-3, 8.16).
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