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Bullpen falters late, Rockies fall to Pirates 4-2

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 18, 2014 at 11:20 pm •  Published: July 18, 2014
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PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Colorado Rockies spent two innings pushing around Pittsburgh starter Francisco Liriano. They just couldn't push him over.

The Pirates didn't waste the reprieve or a rough night by the Colorado bullpen.

Travis Snider's pinch-hit double in the eighth scored Neil Walker with the go-ahead run as Pittsburgh scrambled to a 4-2 victory on Friday night.

It was a start to the second half that looked an awful lot like most of the first half for a team that began the night tied for the fewest wins in the National League.

"You've got a guy on the ropes and you don't capitalize, it's usually going to come back to bite you," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said.

Charlie Culberson and Corey Dickerson had two hits apiece for the Rockies, but Colorado's bullpen couldn't give starter Jorge De La Rosa his fifth consecutive victory.

The Rockies left 11 runners on base while losing their third straight, including four in the first two innings when they managed just one run despite loading the bases in both frames.

"Liriano has been good for a while because he can pitch out of jams and did a nice job working his way out of those two jams the first couple innings," Weiss said.

The Rockies still held a 2-1 lead in the seventh after six steady innings from De La Rosa before things fell apart. The Pirates loaded the bases against Rex Brothers, and reliever Adam Ottavino's 0-2 fastball ended up smacking Starling Marte's helmet to tie the game.

"It was a bad pitch, I wish it didn't happen," Ottavino said. "It got away from me."

Pittsburgh went ahead in the eighth. Walker led off with a single and moved to third on Gaby Sanchez's liner up the middle.

Snider followed with his major league-leading 11th pinch hit of the season, a hard drive that right fielder Carlos Gonzalez couldn't track down, the low point on a night the slugger also struck out five times.

Tony Watson (6-1) picked up the win with a scoreless eighth inning. Mark Melancon got Troy Tulowitzki, representing the tying run, to ground out to third to end it for his 17th save.

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