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Colorado rocks Capps in 9th

Colorado rocks Capps in 9th
The great hunt for Matt Capps' flaw -- whether it is physical, mechanical or mental -- began Friday night, a few minutes after the Colorado Rockies swiped a 3-1 victory from the Pirates .

The Rockies rocked Capps for three runs in the ninth inning. The Pirates' closer yielded five hits, including Brad Hawpe's two-run homer to center field.

The blowout, Capps' second in eight save chances, will cost him some extra time in the video room and bullpen with pitching coach Joe Kerrigan. There could be a small bugaboo in Capps' delivery. Perhaps it's a lingering effect from elbow soreness earlier this month.

"I'll have to go look at the video," Capps said. "I feel fine. Nothing hurts."

Ian Stewart began the winning rally with a ground-rule double to left. Hawpe ripped a fastball over the center-field wall.

"I thought I got it in, but he put a good swing on it and hit it far enough," Capps said.

Ryan Spilborghs singled to center and scored on Matt Murton's pinch-hit single to left.

It was Capps' second blown save of the season, and his ERA swelled to 8.18. He has allowed at least one hit in eight straight outings.

"He needs to get back on track, obviously," manager John Russell said. "He's got to start hitting his spots better and keeping the ball down. Hopefully, it's just a little rut he's in."


Russell said Capps has not alerted the staff about any new aches in his elbow. Capps missed six games May 5-10 with a bone bruise.

"The last few days, he's said he's felt fine," Russell said. "His velocity's still OK."

Capps' fastball has as much zip as ever -- the pitch Hawpe hit out was a 94 mph four-seamer -- but his pitches seem to lack movement.

"All on the same plane," Kerrigan said.

After the game, Capps spent a few, long minutes sitting alone at his locker, his head slumped.

"Tomorrow's a new day, for what that's worth," Capps said. "I'll show up tomorrow and get back at it."

The Rockies ran themselves out of a chance to tie the game in the eighth.

Seth Smith singled and went to third on Dexter Fowler's bunt single.

Troy Tulowitzki hit a rapidly sinking fly ball to left field. Coming in at a full sprint, Nyjer Morgan made the catch, and Smith tagged up and ran to home plate.

But the Pirates appealed, saying Smith stutter-stepped off the bag before Morgan caught the ball. Home plate umpire Scott Barry agreed and ruled Smith out for a double play.

"We saw it from the dugout," Russell said. "That's one of those things you look for. It was a big play ... at the time."

John Grabow got Todd Helton to fly out, ending the threat.

Early on, the Rockies pecked away at Pirates starter Paul Maholm -- getting one hit in the first and second innings, two in the third and another in the fourth -- but they stranded five baserunners.

After Chris Iannetta's double in the fourth, Maholm settled in and set down nine of the final 10 batters he faced. The exception was Fowler, who walked in the fifth and was caught trying to steal second.

In the seventh, Maholm was clipped on the index finger by Spilborghs' bouncer up the middle. After being checked out by the trainer, Maholm remained in the game and closed out a 1-2-3 inning.

"I'm fine," Maholm said. "Just add it onto the long list of things that happen during the season."

Maholm worked seven innings and yielded five hits, walked one and struck out five.

Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa kept the Pirates off balance, racking up 10 strikeouts and walking none. He faced just two three-ball counts in seven innings.

The Pirates finally broke through with two outs in the sixth. Nate McLouth singled to right field, then stole second base. Craig Monroe lined a run-scoring single into left field.

Earlier in the game, Spilborghs burned the Pirates with two sparkling defensive plays.

In the second inning, with two outs and Adam LaRoche at first base, Andy LaRoche dropped a line drive into left-center field. Adam LaRoche made it to third base standing up.

For the second game in a row, though, a baserunning blunder cost the Pirates and out and short-circuited a potential rally. Andy LaRoche tried to stretch the hit into a double, but Spilborghs quickly came up with the ball and threw him out by two steps.

Spilborghs took a run away from the Pirates in the third inning, robbing Jack Wilson of a solo homer. Wilson's fly ball was headed over the left-field wall, but Spilborghs made a running, jumping catch.

Then, in the eighth, with two runners on base, Adam LaRoche hit a fly ball to deep left. Spilborghs made a running, over-the-shoulder catch.

How They Scored

??? Pirates sixth inning (Jorge De La Rosa pitching)

With two outs, Nate McLouth singled to right field. McLouth stole second base. Craig Monroe singled to left, McLouth scored.

Pirates 1, Rockies 0

??? Rockies ninth(Matt Capps pitching)

Ian Stewart (pinch-hitting for Garrett Atkins) hit a ground-rule double to left. Brad Hawpe hit a two-run home run (No. 6) to center on a 1-1 pitch. Ryan Spilborghs singled to left. Chris Iannette grounded out to pitcher, Spilborghs to second. With two outs, Matt Murton (pinch-hitting for Alan Embree) singled to left, Spilborghs scored.

Rockies 3, Pirates 1

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 16, 2009

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