Marte's 4 hits lead Pirates past Rockies 9-3
Sep. 22, 2015
DENVER (AP) — Starling Marte homered among his four hits and came within a triple of the cycle, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 9-3 on Monday night.
Aramis Ramirez went deep and Jody Mercer had four hits for the Pirates, who reduced their magic number for clinching a postseason berth to two. A win Tuesday and a San Francisco loss would clinch at least a wild card for the third straight season.
Marte homered in Pittsburgh's two-run first, singled in the fourth and doubled off the top of the wall in the sixth. He led off the ninth with a single to center.
Mercer hit doubles in the second and fourth innings to drive in Francisco Cervelli, who had three hits, as the Pirates built a 5-0 lead on Jon Gray (0-2).
Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett cruised through the first four innings before an error in the fifth preceded Tom Murphy's three-run homer that made it 5-3.
Burnett (9-5) then hit a batter and walked two more to load the bases before striking out Nolan Arenado to end the inning.
The Rockies again loaded the bases against Burnett in the sixth inning but Antonio Bastardo came on and got DJ LeMahieu to line out to second.
Ramirez added an RBI single during Pittsburgh's three-run ninth.
Colorado's Charlie Blackmon swiped second and third on consecutive pitches in the fifth inning to reach 40 steals. He is the fourth Rockie to have 40 or more steals and the first since Willy Taveras had 68 in 2008.
Pirates: The Pirates placed INF Jung Ho Kang on the 60-day DL. Kang underwent surgery Thursday night to repair a broken left leg and torn knee ligament sustained on a takeout slide at second base by Chris Coghlan of the Chicago Cubs.
Rockies: LHP Yohan Flande is progressing and may not miss his scheduled start Friday. Flande left Saturday's game in the fourth inning after taking a line drive off his left knee.
Pirates: LHP J.A. Happ (5-2) will try to continue his mastery over Colorado. He is 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA in five games — four starts — against the Rockies.
Rockies: LHP Chris Rusin (5-8) has pitched complete games in two of his last three Coors Field starts. He shut out San Diego on Aug. 16 and beat San Francisco 11-3 on Sept. 3.