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Pirates 11, Rockies 8: Rockies unable to overcome big early deficit

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A seven-run first inning was too much for the Rockies offense to undo.

The Pittsburgh Pirates came into Denver and beat up on the Rockies to the tune of an 11-8 victory. The Rockies made a valiant attempt at a comeback, putting up five two-out runs in the eighth inning, but it wasn’t enough to erase the early deficit. The Rockies have now lost nine of their last 11 since sweeping the Marlins August 16-18 and fall to 59-76.

Over before it began

The Pirates didn’t even give the Rockies a chance to catch their breath. Kevin Newman took Chi Chi González deep on the second pitch of the ball game. It took five more batters for the Rockies to get an out. By the time Newman came up to bat again, it was 5-0 Pittsburgh—and then he drove in two on a single to make it 7-0 and driving Chi Chi out of the game with just two outs recorded.

The Rockies added three in the eighth to reduce the deficit to five, but were never really in the game.

Bullpen delivers

Of course, it was all garbage time tonight but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the bullpen combined for 8 13 innings and just four runs allowed. It’s never great when you have to dip into your bullpen so hard in the first game of the series, but the performances from Yency Almonte (3 13 IP, 3 runs), Jesus Tinoco (2 IP, 1 R), Jake McGee (2 IP, 0 R), and Wade Davis (yes, Wade pitched a clean ninth) at least gave the offense a semblance of a chance to come back.

Comeback falls short

Charlie Blackmon struck out in the bottom of the eighth, giving the Rockies just four offensive outs to try to overcome an 11-3 deficit. The next seven batters reached base and turned it into a three-run game, punctuated by Sam Hilliard’s second career home run. Yonder Alonso came up with two runners on representing the tying run but struck out to end the inning. Felipe Vazquez tossed a ridiculous 1-2-3 ninth inning to seal the game for the Pirates.

Up Next

Game two of the series is scheduled for 6:40 pm MT on Friday. Antonio Senzatela heads back to the mound while Dario Agrazal starts for the Pirates.