Flaherty dazzles again, Cardinals drop Pirates 2-0

Flaherty dazzles again, Cardinals drop Pirates 2-0
By WILL GRAVES AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jack Flaherty always had the tools. Figuring out how to put them together has been the challenge for the 23-year-old pitcher since the former first-round pick arrived in St. Louis two years ago.
While Flaherty is sketchy on specifics about what what exactly he changed heading into the All-Star break, one thing is for certain: the roadblocks — mental, physical and otherwise — are all gone. Flaherty is rolling, and so are the Cardinals.
Flaherty overwhelmed the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 2-0 victory on Sunday, striking out 10 against five hits and a walk over eight electric innings to keep up a dazzling run that has turned him into the de facto ace for the NL Central leaders. Flaherty (10-7) won for the sixth time in eight starts while dropping his post All-Star break ERA to 0.76 as St. Louis pushed its lead in the division to 4 1/2 games over second-place Chicago with three weeks to go in the regular season.
“He’s in control of the conviction of what he’s doing,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “Just a lot of big league pitches consistently. Fastball where he wants it to with good life on it, and a really good slider as well. That’s what pitching looks like. Phenomenal job.”
Flaherty’s surge began with seven innings of two-hit ball against San Francisco on July 7. The Cardinals lost 1-0 that day, but the switch flipped. Flaherty has been lights out while fueling St. Louis’ sprint to first and has allowed just three earned runs 56 innings across eight starts since Aug. 1.
“(I’ve made) small adjustments, not really to my mechanics, but mentally to how I was going about things,” Flaherty said. “So little things here and there. Just tried to kind of carry it from one start to the next.”
Carlos Martinez worked a perfect ninth for his 19th save to finish off a season series dominated by the Cardinals. St. Louis won 14 of its 19 meetings with Pittsburgh, including 10 of 12 in the second half, one of the main reasons the Cardinals are heading to October while the Pirates are planning for next season.
“Guys are healthy,” Flaherty said. “We’re playing together. Playing as a team. Not letting any moment get too big.”
Paul Goldschmidt had an RBI double , and Harrison Bader added a run-scoring single off Pittsburgh rookie James Marvel (0-1). Matt Carpenter went 2 for 3 while starting at third base and is hitting .400 (6 for 15) in September as the veteran tries to shake out of a season-long slump.
“Like everybody else, he understands it’s about the team,” Shildt said of Carpenter. “He’s got his head in the right spot to help us win baseball games.”
Flaherty’s effectiveness ended Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle and second baseman Adam Frazier’s respective days a little bit early. Both were ejected by home-plate umpire Roberto Ortiz in the seventh for arguing balls and strikes after Ortiz ruled a pair of borderline pitches in favor of Flaherty.
“He’s taken it to another level,” Hurdle said of Flaherty. ” He was as advertised from what we watched coming in here. It’s been going on for two months.”
Marvel, the 1,087th player chosen in the 2015 draft, was solid in his first major-league start after piling up 16 victories across Double-A and Triple-A this season. With more than 40 people in the stands who roared every time he stepped out of the dugout onto the field at PNC Park, Marvel gave up two runs and four hits in five-plus innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
“I can’t really hear things when I’m pitching,” Marvel said. “I tend to zone out and focus on what I’m doing and the glove. But I’d be lying if I said that today there weren’t a few instances where I heard them.”
There was plenty to cheer about. Marvel, who won 16 games combined during stops at Double-A and Triple-A this summer, didn’t allow a hit until Marcell Ozuna’s two-out single in the fourth. Bader’s flare to center in the fifth scored Carpenter to put the Cardinals in front and Goldschmidt hit an opposite-field double following a lead-off walk to Kolten Wong in the sixth. Otherwise, Marvel was efficient and rarely rattled.
“A very good first impression,” Hurdle said.
Marvel will get a chance at a second, third and fourth.
Cardinals: C Matt Wieters was unavailable on Sunday. Manager Mike Shildt declined to provide specifics. Wieters is expected to be available on Tuesday in Colorado.
Pirates: CF Starling Marte sprained his left wrist while making a catch in the ninth inning. The team pinch-hit for Marte in the ninth. … OF Jason Martin was moved to the 60-day injured list with a dislocated left shoulder. … RHP Yefry Ramirez (right calf strain) was activated off the 10-day IL.
Cardinals: Start a three-game set in Colorado on Tuesday with Michael Wacha (6-6, 4.98 ERA) on the hill.
Pirates: Begin a seven-game road trip on Monday in San Francisco. Trevor Williams (7-6, 5.16 ERA) starts against Madison Bumgarner (9-8, 3.81).
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Ozuna leads Wainwright, Cardinals over Pirates 10-1

Ozuna leads Wainwright, Cardinals over Pirates 10-1
By WES CROSBY Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Marcell Ozuna knew he found something in the first inning. He battled for eight pitches before getting ahold of a fastball, only to see it fly right to Pirates left fielder Bryan Reynolds.
The next time up, Ozuna put it all together. He hit a three-run homer to break out of his slump, and Adam Wainwright pitched seven strong innings, to help the St. Louis Cardinals extend their lead atop the NL Central with a 10-1 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
“I was ready to swing,” Ozuna said. “I was ready to battle. (We had runners on) first and second. (Paul Goldschmidt) had flied out. Let me go after one. A couple games, I don’t drive in any runs. That one swing in the first at-bat, I said, ‘I think I got it.'”
The Cardinals are 3 ½ games ahead of the Cubs for first in the Central with Chicago’s 3-2 loss to Milwaukee.
After Dexter Fowler opened the scoring with an RBI single earlier in the third inning, Ozuna connected against Steven Brault (4-4) for his 26th home run of the season and a 4-0 lead. The cleanup hitter also walked twice after having two hits in his previous 35 at-bats.
Wainwright (11-9) helped himself, and the Cardinals wearing their baby blue uniforms, with a double and single while lasting seven innings for the second straight start. He gave up one run and six hits.
“Today was about bucking the trend and personal challenges,” Wainwright said. “They say the Cardinals don’t win in the baby blues. They say Waino doesn’t pitch well in Pittsburgh. So perfect. Those were the two thoughts I went into the game with trying to prove that wrong.”
Starling Marte drove in the Pirates’ run with a single in the third. He had three RBIs and four hits, including a first-inning triple Saturday, in seven at-bats in two games since missing the previous two with a leg injury.
Tommy Edman and Harrison Bader chased Brault with a pair of RBI singles that extended the lead to 6-1 in the sixth. Brault allowed six runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings with two walks, a balk, a wild pitch and a hit batter.
“Below average command today was his biggest problem,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He had eight three-ball counts on the day. … Not a lot of swing and miss. He’s had more in the past with two walks and two strikeouts. He went out there fighting. He just wasn’t sharp.”
Brault hadn’t given up more than four runs in 15 appearances — 13 starts — since May 12, when St. Louis also tagged him for six in 3 2/3 innings before losing 10-6.
“The way I was taught is that if you have 30 starts a year, you’re going to have four starts where you feel incredible, four starts where you feel terrible, and then 22 starts where you’ll be somewhere in the middle,” Brault said. “Tonight was somewhere in the middle, but near the bad side. Three-run home runs are day-killers, so keep the ball out of the stands and it’ll be a different ballgame.”
Paul DeJong tacked on two more runs with a double off Clay Holmes, making it 8-1 in the seventh. Bader hit an RBI double in the ninth before Andrew Knizner scored on a groundball to cap it.
“We show up ready to go every night,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “Get better as the series goes. … Guys just had tough at-bats, and just added on.”
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single to center in the ninth inning. His career best string is 16 games.
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller is expected to rejoin the starting rotation Tuesday after sustaining a right wrist contusion Sept. 3. He was originally in line to start Sunday.
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (9-7, 3.14) is coming off his best outing of the season. He allowed one hit with eight strikeouts in eight innings of a 1-0 win against San Francisco on Sept. 3.
Pirates: RHP James Marvel (0-0) will make his major league debut Sunday. He was 7-0 with a 2.67 ERA in 11 starts for Triple-A Indianapolis this season.
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Bucs lose to Marlins 10-7

Got you, bro: Brian Moran K’s brother Colin in MLB debut
By WES CROSBY Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Brian Moran waited 10 years to make his major league debut. As he began pitching to his younger brother Colin, he realized he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Brian struck out Colin, becoming the first player in big league history to make his debut while facing his brother on the mound, in the Marlins’ 10-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.
“It’s incredible,” Brian said. “I think the last three days have been some of the most exciting, moving days that I’ve experienced. I don’t think you could dream up a cooler situation. I’m so excited I got to share it with my family. I got to get out on a big league mound.”
Brian (1-0) entered in the fourth inning with the Marlins trailing 5-2. After Bryan Reynolds led off with a groundout, Colin stepped to the plate having doubled in each of his first two at-bats.
The 30-year-old Brian fell behind 3-1 before throwing back-to-back sliders, the second one at 71.7 mph, to strike out Colin looking. The 26-year-old Colin shouted toward the mound on his way back to the dugout.
“He’s been my inspiration my whole life,” Colin said. “He’s never given up. That’s kind of been the theme of his career. I would’ve given up, probably. A lesser man would have given up with the road he’s had to go through.”
Moran hit Josh Bell with a pitch and then got Melky Cabrera to fly out in his only inning of work.
The Marlins rallied for four runs in the fifth, allowing Brian to get the win. Colin finished 2 for 4.
“I felt bad for the dad. And happy,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “It’s a special moment. It really is a very special moment. The parents have to be so proud, so pleased.”
They became the first siblings to face each other in a pitcher-batter scenario with one of the brothers making his major league debut, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“It’s just fun to see that,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Knowing what these guys have probably been through as brothers growing up. It’s kind of fun for, I’m sure, that family, but it was really the right spot in the game. It worked out where it was a left-handed section for us in the right part of the game.”
The older Moran was 2-3 with a 3.15 ERA in 43 appearances for Triple-A New Orleans this season. He made his professional debut in Seattle’s farm system with rookie-level Pulaski in 2009.
“There’s a certain element of it being meant to be,” said Brian, who blew a kiss to his wife, Jackie, as he came off the field. “It’s been everything and more. It’s worth the wait, and I couldn’t be more excited.”
In the fifth, Miami went ahead 6-5 and chased Dario Agrazal (4-4), who surrendered six runs, five earned, in 4 1/3 innings.
Isan Díaz tied it with a two-run single before two errors allowed Jorge Alfaro to score. A groundball from Harold Ramirez got through Pittsburgh’s Moran at third base and catcher Elias Díaz dropped a throw from Kevin Newman while attempting to tag Alfaro.
Reynolds homered twice, once in a five-run first inning and again in the ninth, giving the rookie 16 this season. Josh Bell hit his 36th homer in the ninth.
Facing Moran in the fourth, Reynolds quickly cleared the way for the brother-vs.-brother matchup, swinging at a first-pitch slider that jammed him.
“I was just trying to get out of there early,” Reynolds said. “I was just being courteous.”
Pirates: OF Starling Marte did not play for a second straight game. Hurdle did not clarify if sitting Marte was injury-related. … RHP Alex McRae was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. … RHP Mitch Keller was expected to throw a bullpen session Thursday after sustaining a right wrist contusion Tuesday.
Marlins: RHP Pablo López (5-7, 4.89 ERA) will look to avoid a third straight loss when he takes the mound against Kansas City on Friday. He has allowed a combined 10 runs in eight innings through his past two starts.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (9-12, 4.67) will try to win consecutive starts for the first time in more than two months when he faces St. Louis on Friday. He last won back-to-back starts on June 21 against San Diego and June 27 against Houston.
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Diaz, Reynolds rally Pirates past Marlins 6-5 in 9th

Diaz, Reynolds rally Pirates past Marlins 6-5 in 9th
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Bryan Reynolds has a chance to make history, though he isn’t making a big deal about it.
Reynolds’ two-run bloop single capped a three-run ninth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied for a 6-5 victory over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday.
A 2-for-5 night boosted the outfielder’s average to .332 as he tries to become the first rookie to win a National League batting title. Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon’s .338 mark tops the league
“I try not to think about it because there is still a lot of baseball left,” Reynolds said before smiling and adding, “but it’s hard not to think about it when it comes up in every interview.”
Elias Diaz started the winning rally with a leadoff homer against Jose Urena (4-8) that drew the Pirates within a run. It was just the backup catcher’s second home run of the season.
“That really provided a lift,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said.
Pinch-hitter Kevin Kramer walked and went to third on Adam Frazier’s double before Reynolds flared a single into left-center to give the Pirates their fifth win in six games.
It was the first game-ending hit of Reynolds’ nascent career.
“I like to hit in those situations with the game on the line and I’ve had a couple of other chances this year when I didn’t come through, so it feels good to finally do it,” said Reynolds, who could not recall his last walk-off hit.
Frazier and Reynolds both had two hits at the top of the order. Making just his 10th start in center field with Starling Marte getting the night off, Reynolds also turned in a pair of outstanding diving catches.
Garrett Cooper’s two-run homer off Kyle Crick with two outs in the seventh put the Marlins ahead 5-3.
Miami’s Starlin Castro had four hits, all for extra bases, as he homered and doubled three times. Cooper also had a double among his three hits.
“Coop and Star put on a show all day,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Kind of a dynamic duo all day long. It’s just unfortunate in a game like that, it ends quickly.”
Wei-Chung Wang (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth.
Marlins rookie Robert Dugger was in line for his first major league win after allowing three runs — two earned — over six innings in his third career start.
Pirates starter Trevor Williams basically matched Dugger’s line as he gave up three runs — two earned — and seven hits in six innings, though he had six strikeouts and one walk.
“We were able to hang in there and keep things close and give Bryan Reynolds the opportunity to do Bryan Reynolds things,” said Williams, who referred to the 24-year-old as “an emerging superstar.”
Castro’s two-run homer in the fifth put Miami ahead 3-1. Pittsburgh tied it on Frazier’s run-scoring triple in the fifth and pinch-hitter Pablo Reyes’ RBI double in the sixth.
Josh Bell drove in the Pirates’ first run with a first-inning single.
Pirates: Rookie OF Jason Martin will miss the rest of the season after dislocating his left shoulder Tuesday night when Marlins RHP Jarlin Garcia fell on him during a play at the plate. Martin, though, will not require surgery. … RHP Mitch Keller (bruised right wrist) played catch a day after being struck by a line drive. … RF Gregory Polanco (left shoulder inflammation) will undergo a series of platelet-rich plasma injections. He won’t play again this season. … SS Kevin Newman missed his third straight start with a right hip injury but flied out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth.
The Pirates recalled Kramer, a utility player, from Triple-A Indianapolis and placed RHP Keone Kela on the paternity list. Kela is expected to miss three games.
Marlins C Tyler Heineman made his major league debut in the eighth and struck out as a pinch-hitter. His brother Scott, an outfielder with the Texas Rangers, played in his first career game Monday.
Marlins: RHP Elieser Hernandez (3-5, 5.06 ERA) is scheduled to pitch Thursday night’s series finale. He is 2-1 with a 4.18 ERA in his last five starts.
Pirates: RHP Dario Agrazal (4-5, 4.50) has won his last two starts despite giving up seven runs in 10 innings.
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Bucs blow late lead and fall to Marlins 5-4 in 10 innings

Rojas, Cooper late homers help Marlins end record road skid
By JOHN PERROTTO Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jose Urena was the Miami Marlins’ opening day starter. He is now finishing the season as the closer.
Miguel Rojas hit a tying home run with two outs in the ninth inning and Garrett Cooper connected in the 10th as the Marlins rallied for a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night, ending their franchise-record 15-game road losing streak.
Urena then pitched a perfect 10th for his first save of the season and second of his career. He had been on the injured list since June 8 with a strained lower back until being activated Sunday and Miami has decided to look at him as a late-inning reliever.
“You could tell he’s got that energy,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s aggressive with his stuff. His stuff is always good. This kind of closing the game down at the end, it fits his personality. So, it’s going to be fun to watch. Hopefully, we can put him in position to get a few more and see how it goes.”
The National League-worst Marlins seemed in position to lose away from home yet again, down to their final out when Rojas homered to center field off Felipe Vazquez, who had just his third blown save in 27 opportunities.
“An amazing feeling, man,” Rojas said. “I just feel like any time you have the opportunity to change the game in that form, it’s really amazing to give guys the opportunity to win.”
Cooper’s home run, a 444-foot shot to left-center, came with one out off Parker Markel (0-1).
“Hitter’s count, 1-0, he threw a slider that didn’t do much and I put a good swing on it,” Cooper said. “I think we come in every day with a new mindset. We’re not worried about the day before or the week before. We have a lot of good veterans in the clubhouse that keep it real with us. Try to win the day.”
Adam Conley (2-7) got the last out of the ninth when Pablo Reyes was thrown out at home while trying to score from second base on Adam Frazier’s infield single.
Pittsburgh had gone in front in the eighth as Jason Martin scored on Jarlin Garcia’s wild pitch with two outs and the bases loaded. Martin injured his left arm when Garcia fell on top of him in a play at the plate. The Pirates had no update on the rookie outfielder following the game.
Frazier led off the first inning with a home run, drove in three runs and had three of the Pirates’ four hits. Pittsburgh lost for just the third time in 11 games.
Miami All-Star Sandy Alcantara remained winless since June 21, a span of 12 starts, as he allowed four runs and three hits in seven-plus innings with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Pirates rookie right-hander Mitch Keller left the game in the second inning when he sustained a bruised right wrist when struck by Cooper’s line comebacker.
Considered the organization’s top prospect coming into the season, Keller retired all five batters he faced in his eighth major league start.
Keller was struck flush on the outer part of the wrist. The Pirates said initial imaging revealed only a bruise.
“It still hurts but right away the worst comes to mind. That it’s just a contusion and not broken is a relief,” said Keller, who had his hand in a brace after the game. “Everything was working really good and I felt it was going to be one of those games that was going to be really good for me and the team. So, getting hurt is really frustrating.”
Frazier’s two-run single to right field in the bottom of the fifth tied the game at 3-3. The Marlins had pulled ahead in the top of the inning on Cooper’s RBI double to deep center field.
After Frazier staked the Pirates to a quick lead, the Marlins moved ahead 2-1 in the third inning as a throwing error by third baseman Colin Moran on Cooper’s two-out grounder allowed two runs to score.
Frazier’s leadoff blast marked the fourth time in five games the Pirates started a game with a home run. The second baseman had one and SS Kevin Newman hit two during a four-game sweep last weekend at Colorado.
LHP Brian Moran was called up by the Marlins from Triple-A New Orleans along with C Tyler Heineman and OF Magneuris Sierra. Moran is the older brother of Colin Moran and reached the major leagues for the first time after spending 10 years in the minors.
The Morans are nephews of longtime major leaguer B.J. Surhoff.
The Marlins designated C Wilkin Castillo for assignment and transferred 3B/OF Brian Anderson (fractured right hand) to the 60-day injured list from the 10-day IL to open spots on the 40-man roster.
LHP Wei-Chung Wang was added to the Pirates’ active roster three days after being claimed off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. The Pirates signed Wang from Taiwan as an amateur international free agent in 2011 then lost him two years later to the Milwaukee Brewers in the Rule 5 Draft
Martin was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis as were RHP Yacksel Rios, C Steven Barron and INF Cole Tucker.
Marlins: RHP Robert Dugger (0-1, 4.50 ERA) is scheduled to make his third major league start on Wednesday night in the middle game of the three-game series.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (7-6, 5.26) has won back-to-back starts, allowing three runs in 13 innings.

Brault homers, pitches into 7th as Pirates sweep Rockies 6-2

Brault homers, pitches into 7th as Pirates sweep Rockies 6-2
By MICHAEL KELLY Associated Press
DENVER (AP) — Steven Brault hit his first major league homer and pitched effectively into the seventh inning to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Colorado Rockies 6-2 on Sunday for a four-game sweep.
Adam Frazier homered on the first pitch of the game, the second straight day the Pirates did that. Kevin Newman connected against Tim Melville on Saturday night.
Brault (4-3) allowed only one hit until Nolan Arenado lined a two-out fastball into the seats in left field in the sixth for his 35th home run. Brault left in the seventh when the Rockies got a run on two hits and an error, but Richard Rodriguez got out of the jam by fanning Trevor Story.
Brault socked a solo homer that made it 3-1 in the top of the seventh. He allowed just one earned run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Josh Bell and Colin Moran each hit an RBI single for the Pirates. Bryan Reynolds had three hits.
Pittsburgh could have had more runs but Colorado cut down three baserunners in the first six innings. Reynolds was thrown out at home trying to score from first base on a double in the third, Starling Marte was picked off in the fifth when he broke for second too early, and Erik Gonzalez was thrown out trying to stretch a single in the sixth.
That helped limit the damage for Jeff Hoffman (1-5), who was recalled from the minors before game. Hoffman lasted just two innings in his previous start for the Rockies but held Pittsburgh to two runs and nine hits over five innings Sunday. It wasn’t enough to prevent last-place Colorado from losing its sixth in a row.
Pirates: Activated RHP Clay Holmes from the 10-day injured list.
The Rockies brought up three players from Triple-A Albuquerque. In addition to Hoffman, Colorado added left-handed reliever James Pazos and infielder Pat Valaika, who started at second base and had a single in four at-bats. Pazos struck out the only batter he faced.
The Pirates are expected to add to their roster before playing at home Tuesday.
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (1-3, 8.62 ERA) opens a six-game homestand Tuesday against Miami. Keller will be making his eight major league start.
Rockies: RHP Peter Lambert (2-5, 6.63) starts his third game of the season against the Dodgers when Colorado begins a three-game series in Los Angeles on Monday.
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Bell hits 35th HR, Pirates clobber Rockies 11-4

Bell hits 35th HR, Pirates clobber Rockies 11-4
By MICHAEL KELLY Associated Press
DENVER (AP) — One thought raced through Joe Musgrove’s mind as he watched Kevin Newman launch the first pitch of the game into the seats.
“Hell yeah,” the Pittsburgh starter said.
The Pirates have been having a lot of those moments against Colorado this weekend as their offense has battered Rockies pitchers for three games.
Josh Bell hit his 35th homer, one of three on the night for Pittsburgh in an 11-4 rout of Colorado on Saturday night.
The Pirates had 17 hits and have now recorded at least 15 in each game of the series, tying the franchise record for a three-game span set in 1936.
Newman has nine of Pittsburgh’s 48 hits, including three homers, in 14 at-bats in the series, and this was his second leadoff shot. Jose Osuna also connected, and the Pirates won for the 14th time in 18 games at Coors Field. Pittsburgh will try for a four-game sweep Sunday.
“It’s not like they’re taking hitting pills and show up. They’ve been working to be better,” manager Clint Hurdle said of his team. “It’s a combination of them getting pitches to hit and not missing them, and (the Rockies’) rotation is not the rotation they started the year with. They’re trying to do the best they can with what they got.”
Ryan McMahon and Daniel Murphy homered for the Rockies, who have lost five in a row and 11 of 13. A loss Sunday would be the second time in a week Colorado has been swept in a four-game series.
Colorado finished 9-19 in August during which the pitching staff posted a 6.36 ERA, the worst in franchise history for the month. Pitchers also tied a team record by allowing 56 home runs in August.
The Rockies are 19-44 since June 20th and have the second-worst record in the NL.
“I don’t this period is going to effect this team,” manager Bud Black said. “You saw the last out of the game. You saw one of our best players (Trevor Story) get down the line. Ran his ass off.”
Not even the feel-good story of Tim Melville could help the Rockies on Saturday. In his first two starts since being recalled Aug. 21, the 29-year-old journeyman was 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA. After two innings and five runs – four earned – Saturday, his ERA was 3.21.
“A lot of stuff stayed up today and I had to make changes quicker,” Melville said. “I wasn’t able to make changes and at this level you are exposed pretty easily.”
Newman connected off Melville (1-1) during a two-run first. The Pirates added three more in the second, two on a double by Bryan Reynolds.
Reynolds had three hits and a front-row seat for Newman’s 426-foot blast leading off the game.
“I’m on deck just starting to get loose and he hits a homer and I’m like, ‘OK, here we go,'” Reynolds said. “He’s been doing it all year but it’s safe to say he likes playing here. Every time he’s up there he’s getting a hit, hitting it over the fence.”
McMahon hit is 19th in the second and Colorado added another in the third, but Bell and Osuna had solo homers in the fourth off Wes Parsons to make it 7-2. Bell’s 35 homers are a franchise record for a switch-hitter.
Musgrove (9-12) went six innings to get his first win in six starts thanks to another big lead early.
“I can’t say enough about our offense,” he said.
Pirates: OF Gregory Polanco (left shoulder) was transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list.
The Pirates claimed LHP Wei-Chung Wang off waivers from Oakland. Wang was 1-0 with a 3.33 ERA in 20 relief appearances with the Athletics. He is expected to join the team Tuesday.
Pittsburgh LHP Steven Brault (3-3, 4.06) will make his second career start against the Colorado. The Rockies have not announced a starter for Sunday.
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Newman homers twice, Pirates beat Rockies 11-8

Newman homers twice, Pirates beat Rockies 11-8
By DENNIS GEORGATOS Associated Press
DENVER (AP) — Kevin Newman was quick to get the Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense rolling.
Newman, the new leadoff batter, had two homers among his four hits and drove in three runs, Jose Osuna also homered and the Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 11-8 on Thursday night.
Newman homered to lead off the game, igniting a seven-run first that he capped with his second hit of the inning, a two-out RBI single that chased Colorado starter Chi Chi Gonzalez.
It was the second career leadoff home run for Newman, who also did it June 27 at Houston. And he is relishing settling into the leadoff role, making his seventh straight start at the top of the order after getting spot starts at the position earlier in the year.
“I love it,” he said. “That’s honestly one of the perks to be a leadoff hitter in my mind, to be able to go out there and have the opportunity to set the tone like that. It doesn’t always end in a home run or a base hit even, but just to have that opportunity to do something for the team, get that energy going, I really enjoy it.”
Adam Frazier added four hits, including a pair of run-scoring singles, and Colin Moran had two hits, including a two-run double in the Pirates’ big first inning.
“The top of the lineup was setting the table and once we got rolling, it was just hop on and try to be a part of it,” Moran said.
Trevor Williams (7-6) went seven innings and allowed three runs on seven hits in helping the Pirates win for the fifth time in seven games. He struck out six and walked none.
“We were really attacking the zone on the edges, to both sides and then we went up in the zone when we needed to,” Williams said.
The Pirates have won 12 of their last 16 games played in Colorado, dating to July 27, 2014.
Gonzalez (0-6) trailed 3-0 before getting his first out and was down 7-0 when he exited in favor of Yency Almonte with two outs in the first in his shortest start of the season.
“It was a terrible outing,” Gonzalez said. “I didn’t give my team a chance to win. The few times I threw a slider, it was like a slow fastball. The second pitch of the game, I gave up a home run. I missed spots and continued to miss spots.”
The Rockies did make a game of it late.
Trailing 11-3 going into their half of the eighth, the Rockies sent 10 men to the plate and scored five runs, all with two outs. Pinch-hitter Yonathan Daza started the rally with a two-out triple and, after Daniel Murphy walked, Ryan McMahon followed with a two-run double and Ian Desmond hit an RBI double.
Michael Feliz relieved Montana DuRapau and Sam Hilliard worked the count full before driving an opposite field homer deep into the left field bleachers.
With runners at first and second, Francisco Liriano came on to strike out Yonder Alonso to end the inning. Felipe Vazquez got three outs for his 24th save.
It was the seventh loss in eight games for the Rockies, who were eliminated from postseason contention with Wednesday night’s 7-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
Murphy had a single and double to drive in three runs for Colorado.
Osuna had an RBI double in the second and homered on the first pitch he saw from Almonte in the fourth as the Pirates pulled in front 10-3.
In the fifth, Newman drove a 1-1 pitch from Jesus Tinoco over the fence in left-center for the first multihomer game of his career. His four hits matched a career-best.
Pirates: Prior to the game, RHP Chris Stratton was placed on the 10-day injured list with right side inflammation. Also, RHP Yefry Ramirez was placed on the IL with a right calf strain. Filling the roster vacancies were RHP Parker Markel and RHP Montana DuRapau, both recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Rockies: RHP Scott Oberg, transferred to the 60-day injured list after undergoing season-ending surgery earlier this month to resolve blood clot issues in his right arm, is making good progress in his recovery. Manager Bud Black said the team is closely monitoring Oberg and is optimistic he’ll be ready for spring training. … LHP Kyle Freeland, placed on the 10-day IL with a left groin strain a week ago, is gradually increasing physical conditioning work. He has begun playing catch and is getting closer to throwing off a mound, though that has not yet been scheduled.
Pirates: Rookie RHP Dario Agrazal (3-3, 4.41 ERA) is slated to make his 10th career start and first against the Rockies. He’s coming off a win in his last outing in which he beat Cincinnati, going five innings and allowing four runs.
Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela (8-8, 6.75 ERA) picked up the victory in his last start at Coors Field on July 14, despite allowing eight runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He has three quality starts to his credit in Denver this season.
More AP baseball coverage: www.apnews.com/MLB and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports

Realmuto powers Phillies to 12-3 rout of Pirates

Realmuto powers Phillies to 12-3 rout of Pirates
By AARON BRACY Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Rhys Hoskins did more with less.
The slumping slugger doubled, tripled and drove in a run as the Philadelphia Phillies got 17 hits in a 12-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.
Hoskins has been struggling mightily at the plate this month and made a game-changing error in the ninth inning of Philadelphia’s 5-4 loss Tuesday night. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler considered giving Hoskins a day off Wednesday before putting him in the cleanup spot — and it paid off.
“It looked like Rhys had a lot of weight lifted off his shoulders,” Kapler said.
Hoskins, who entered in a 2-for-20 slide, said he swung at “80 percent” effort in an attempt to control the barrel of his bat better.
“I throttled down even more than usual and it got me back to where I wanted to be,” he said.
Every position player who started for the Phillies finished with at least one hit and RBI.
J.T. Realmuto had three hits and a home run, Cesar Hernandez added three hits and three RBIs, and Corey Dickerson also went deep. Philadelphia remained two games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second NL wild card.
“We attacked from the get-go and never let off the gas,” Hoskins said.
Starling Marte homered and had three hits for Pittsburgh, and Josh Bell hit a two-run shot.
Pirates rookie Bryan Reynolds, who began the day leading the NL in batting, went 0 for 3 to snap his seven-game hitting streak and drop his average to .330.
Vince Velasquez (6-7) bounced back from a forgettable outing last time out, going five innings and allowing two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Velasquez coughed up a 7-0 lead in the third inning of Philadelphia’s 19-11 loss at Miami last Friday.
Kapler didn’t give Velasquez the opportunity to blow a lead this time, lifting the right-hander for a pinch-hitter in the fifth even though he had thrown only 75 pitches.
“I knew I needed to make an impact,” Velasquez said. “Today was a pretty important game for me and the team in general.”
Mitch Keller (1-3), a 23-year-old rookie making his seventh career start, pitched into the fifth for Pittsburgh and gave up eight runs on 11 hits with eight strikeouts and a walk.
The Phillies did damage against the 2014 second-round pick in the fifth when Keller didn’t get an out while facing six batters, five of whom scored. Dickerson started the inning with an opposite-field homer to left. Realmuto followed with a triple and scored on Bryce Harper’s single. After a walk to Hoskins and an infield single by Jean Segura, Hernandez ended Keller’s night with a two-run single.
“The overall effect of execution of pitches caught up to him,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “Mix wasn’t sharp.”
All told, Philadelphia tallied five runs on five hits in the inning to go up 8-2.
Marte led off the sixth by crushing a long homer to left, but Realmuto answered in the bottom half with a drive to left of his own.
Bell hit a two-run drive to the opposite field in left in the fourth, giving him 34 homers and 106 RBIs. Bell began the day second in the NL in RBIs, one behind Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman.
Realmuto finished the three-game set 8 for 15 with a double, triple and homer.
Marte has reached base safely in all 19 career games in Philadelphia, batting .375 (27 for 72) with nine doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs.
Pirates: Open a four-game set Thursday night at Colorado with RHP Trevor Williams (6-6, 5.35 ERA) facing Rockies RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-5, 6.43).
Phillies: After an off day, begin a three-game home series Friday against the Mets with Philadelphia RHP Aaron Nola (12-4, 3.53 ERA) opposing RHP Zack Wheeler (9-7, 4.46).
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Bucs top Phillies 5-4.

Hoskins muffs easy catch in 9th, Phils fall to Pirates 5-4
By DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Rhys Hoskins botched an easy catch that cost the Phillies a game and gave their fed-up fans a reason to really boo the home team. The struggling first baseman has become the latest player to trigger the official sound of contempt in Philly with a drop that cost the Phils a chance to gain ground in the playoff race.
Hoskins kept Phillies fans booing when he inexplicably flubbed a routine throw in the ninth inning, turning what appeared to be an inning-ending double play into the go-ahead run for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 5-4 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
“Just missed it. Clanked it,” Hoskins said.
After a pair of one-out walks by Hector Neris (2-5), Kevin Newman hit a grounder to second baseman Cesar Hernandez that could’ve let the Phillies escape.
Hernandez flipped to Jean Segura for a force at second, and the shortstop threw a strike to Hoskins that should have finished the inning. But the struggling Hoskins seemed to close his mitt too early and the ball smacked off the leather and rolled away.
Adam Frazier scrambled home to score the tiebreaking run in stunning fashion and the Phillies failed to gain ground in the NL wild-card race.
“I think that he was in a good position to catch that ball,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “There’s no technique he could have done different to save it. It’s just a ball he missed.”
Hoskins entered hitting .164 since the All-Star break and said he didn’t need a day off. Kapler said he would talk about the possibility with Hoskins.
“I think we keep reminding him how good he is,” Kapler said.
Felipe Vazquez (5-1) got the win for the Pirates with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
“We’re never really out of it,” left fielder Bryan Reynolds said. “It’s just one swing away, one play away.”
More like, one big error.
Sean Rodriguez provoked the ire of Phillies fans a day after he won a game a with an extra-inning home run and blasted the crowd for booing. Rodriguez was booed during lineup introductions — though he signed a few autographs for fans before the game — and each time he came to hit.
Rodriguez did hear cheers after his first at-bat — he was hit by a pitch and smirked at the reaction as he jogged to first. He was booed again even after he doubled in the fourth inning and he seemed to gesture in appreciation toward his teammates in the Phillies dugout.
Rodriguez ripped the fans after he led off the 11th inning with a homer to beat the Pirates 6-5 on Monday night.
“I’m not the one saying pretty disgusting things at times. That seems pretty entitled. You’re just making yourself look pretty bad as an individual, as a person, as a fan,” he said.
The Phillies’ chase for a wild-card spot took a backseat Tuesday to wall-to-wall Rodriguez headlines.
“Sean’s a fiery guy, he’s a fiery player,” Kapler said. “I think what he was attempting to convey was that he supports his teammates and thinks that his teammates perform best when they feel support, too.”
Kapler was booed during introductions on his first opening day in Philadelphia last year and said it’s best for everyone connected to Philly sports to develop a thick skin.
“I don’t think our fans are entitled,” Kapler said. “What they’re entitled to do is feel how they feel and express themselves accordingly. Let’s go at it directly, every great player in every sport that’s played here in Philadelphia has gotten booed. Charles Barkley was here and talked to our club not that long ago. Charles Barkley got booed. Ryan Howard got booed. Jimmy Rollins got booed. Mike Schmidt got booed.”
All of those players are some of the greats in Philly sports history.
Rodriguez entered hitting .214.
More boos were heard in the first inning, though they were the usual ones directed at the home team when it’s losing. The Pirates nearly hit for the cycle in the inning against Drew Smyly. Newman led off with a triple, Reynolds hit his 14th homer of the season for a 2-0 lead and Starling Marte doubled to open the inning. The Pirates wouldn’t score again until Colin Moran hit a two-run homer off Smyly for a 4-2 lead
The Phillies scored a run each in the second, third and fourth innings off Pirates starter Steven Brault and Logan Morrison tied it at 4-all in the sixth with his fifth career pinch-hit home run.
Phillies: INF-OF Scott Kingery, who left Monday’s game with an injury, was out of the starting lineup with lower abdominal soreness. Kingery pinch-hit in a tie game in the eighth and struck out.
U.S national soccer team star Carli Lloyd, who made a 55-yard field goal at a recent Eagles practice, threw the first pitch. Lloyd told NBCSports Philadelphia she had interest from an NFL team to kick for them.
The Phillies send RHP Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.93 ERA) to the mound against Pittsburgh RHP Mitch Keller (1-2, 7.24 ERA).
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