MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - INSIDE PITCH
DENVER -- The Pittsburgh Pirates were routed 8-1 by the Colorado Rockies on Friday, not the way they wanted to start a long road trip. But since St. Louis, Milwaukee and Cincinnati also lost, the Pirates remained tied for second, 3 games behind in the tight National League Central.
The Pirates have flourished at PNC Park, where their 34-21 (.618) mark is the best home record in the National League.
Friday's loss was the first game on a 10-game swing through the National League West that will include three games at San Francisco and four at Arizona after this weekend series at Colorado.
The Pirates are 20-27 on the road, the worst road record of the four contending clubs in the NL Central. Cincinnati is 24-29 on the road, while St. Louis is 25-25 and Milwaukee is 29-21.
The NL West clubs are going to help the Pirates determine their short-term fate. The Pirates are 5-2 in a stretch of 16 straight games and 19 of 22 against NL West clubs through Aug. 10. The Pirates are 14-6 against the NL West this year, winning each of their first six series against Arizona (2-1), at Los Angles (3-1), at San Diego (2-1), against San Francisco (2-1), against Colorado (3-0) and against Los Angeles (2-1).
MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost one
NEXT: Pirates (LHP Jeff Locke, 2-1, 3.05 ERA) at Rockies (LHP Tyler Matzek, 1-4, 4.91 ERA)
--RHP Charlie Morton held the Rockies to one run through six innings and another in the seventh before leaving after failing to retire the three batters he faced. The two runners Ernesto Frieri inherited from Morton also scored, and he was charged with four runs in six innings. Morton (5-10) had won four of his previous six decisions and had a 2.73 ERA (33 innings, 10 earned runs) in his past five starts. In five previous career starts against the Rockies, Morton was 2-0 with a 3.16 ERA (31 1/3 innings, 11 earned runs).
--2B Neil Walker went 1-for-3 with a walk and has reached base safely in 22 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors. Walker has 11 hits in his past 23 at-bats and has scored 17 runs this month. He ranks first among National League second baseman with 15 home runs.
--RHP Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) threw a 60-pitch bullpen with Triple-A Indianapolis at Rochester and is scheduled to make an 80-pitch rehab start there Monday. Cole has been on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 5, his second stint on the disabled list this year. Right shoulder fatigue put Cole on the disabled list retroactive to June 4, and he wasn't activated until June 28. In 14 starts this season, Cole is 7-4 with a 3.78 ERA. He did not make a rehab start when he came off the disabled list following his shoulder fatigue and left his second start with back tightness.
--3B Pedro Alvarez, who left Tuesday's game with left knee discomfort, was not in the lineup for the second straight game but did pinch hit in the seventh against right-hander Tommy Kahnle and struck out and stayed in the game. Alvarez took ground balls before the game, did some agility drills and hit in the indoor batting cage and manager Clint Hurdle said Alvarez was healthy enough to come off the bench and hit.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "A hanging breaking ball for a double. An elevated sinker for another extra-base hit and they roll a ground ball through the left side, which chased Charlie." -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle on RHP Charlie Morton after a loss at Colorado on Friday.
MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - ROSTER REPORT
--3B Pedro Alvarez (left knee discomfort) left the July 22 game. He did not play July 23 but came on as a pinch hitter July 25 and stayed in the game.
--LF Starling Marte (concussion) went on the seven-day disabled list retroactive to July 22. He passed concussion protocols July 21 and was cleared to play but failed the tests July 23. There is no timetable for his return.
--RHP Gerrit Cole (tight right lat) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 5. He threw on flat ground July 13 and 15. He threw off a mound July 16 and 20. He threw 70 pitches in a simulated game July 23.
--INF Clint Barmes (strained left groin) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 30. He began jogging July 23 and is expected to take live practice during the week of July 28-Aug. 3.
RHP Francisco Liriano
RHP Charlie Morton
LHP Jeff Locke
RHP Edinson Volquez
RHP Vance Worley
RHP Mark Melancon (closer)
LHP Tony Watson
RHP Ernesto Frieri
LHP Justin Wilson
RHP Jeanmar Gomez
RHP Jared Hughes
RHP Stolmy Pimentel
1B Ike Davis
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
3B Pedro Alvarez
INF Gaby Sanchez
INF Michael Martinez
INF Brent Morel
LF Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
RF Gregory Polanco
OF Travis Snider