Rusin bounces back but Rockies fall to Pirates 4-3
Aug. 30, 2015
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chris Rusin didn't even look at the tape. The struggling Colorado Rockies left-hander didn't need video evidence to remind him of the worst start of his career.
So Rusin simply hit delete after the New York Mets roughed him up for a career-worst 11 runs in just two innings last week.
Better to move on and focus on the future than wallow, right?
"I just wanted to get rid of that and put that outing out of my head," Rusin said.
Things were better Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, just not quite good enough to snap out of a funk that has been going on for two months. Rusin surrendered a three-run homer to Aramis Ramirez in the first inning and a late rally fell short in the Rockies' 4-3 loss.
"I made one pretty big mistake which cost us pretty much the game," Rusin said. "I didn't get it as far in as I wanted."
Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen hit one-out singles in the first and Ramirez followed with a shot into the bleachers in left field for his 13th homer of the season and second since the Pirates acquired him from Milwaukee in late July.
"I got a good pitch to hit," Ramirez said. "I was trying to drive the ball. The last thing I wanted to do in that situation is hit a ground ball, just make sure I bring that run home."
Rusin (4-7) settled down to get through six innings but fell to 1-5 since beating the Brewers on June 21.
"Our team didn't win so it is what it is," Rusin said. "As a pitcher you want to pitch your team to win and I wasn't able to do that."
The Rockies were held in check by J.A. Happ for 5 2-3 innings but made things interesting in the ninth. Ben Paulsen led off with a single and Nick Hundley hit a two-run homer to left off closer Mark Melancon. Brandon Barnes followed with a single but the rally soon flamed out.
Pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso popped out to second and Charlie Blackmon lined into a double play to end it as the Rockies fell to 5-23 against left-handed starters.
The Pirates remained within 3 1-2 games of first-place St. Louis in the hyper-competitive NL Central behind another strong performance from Happ. Brought in to bolster the back end of the rotation, the 32-year-old has settled down nicely following a bumpy debut against the New York Mets on Aug. 4.
The left-hander is 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA in his last four starts, working his way out of a tough spot in the third with minimal damage and getting a boost from reliever Arquimedes Caminero when the Rockies put two runners on with two outs in the sixth.
Caminero extended his scoreless streak to 17 1-3 innings after getting Hundley to ground out to third to end the threat in the sixth and breezing through the Rockies in the seventh.
Melancon survived a rare rough outing in the ninth to collect his 43rd save.
The Pirates made it a point to avoid a splashy move and instead add productive veterans at the deadline, the moves have paid off handsomely so far. Pittsburgh is 19-7 in August and allowed manager Clint Hurdle to showcase his team's versatility while adding an insurance run in the seventh off reliever Jason Gurka.
Starling Marte, initially given the night off, entered as a pinch-runner in the seventh. He moved to third on a pinch-hit single by Michael Morse — another deadline arrival — and scored on a fielder's choice by Gregory Polanco that gave the bullpen just enough wiggle room.
Colorado: 1B Justin Morneau went 1 for 2 for Double-A New Britain on Friday night, his first action since going on the DL on May 13 with a neck injury. The 2014 NL batting champion played four innings at first base, with Weiss calling the performance promising. ... RHP Kyle Kendrick will start one of Tuesday's doubleheader games against Arizona. Kendrick has been on the DL since getting hurt against St. Louis on July 31.
The series concludes Sunday when Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa faces Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton. De La Rosa is 5-4 on the road with a 3.51 ERA this season. Morton is 5-1 at PNC Park and is 2-1 with a 3.62 ERA in six starts against the Rockies.