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Pirates weather delay to top Rockies

Pirates weather delay to top Rockies
PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Pirates got a reprieve from the rain.

Ian Snell struggled before the delay, but the bullpen shut down the Colorado Rockies after the rain let up for a 7-4 victory Saturday night.


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Nate McLouth homered and five relievers allowed only one run on three hits after a delay of 1 hour, 47 minutes chased Snell after two innings. The Pirates have won three of five since snapping an eight-game losing streak.

"These kind of nights are tough, and our bullpen did a great job," McLouth said. "They won the game for us tonight."

Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young each had two hits and two RBIs, Jack Wilson added two RBIs and Brandon Moss had two hits and two runs for Pittsburgh.

Sean Burnett (1-1) earned the win with three effective innings of relief, and beleaguered closer Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

Clint Barmes hit his fourth home run and Ryan Spilborghs had a two-run double for the Rockies, who have lost three of four.

Burnett was shaky at the beginning of his outing. He didn't record an out until his third batter, Troy Tulowitzki, hit a sacrifice fly but settled in after that.

Evan Meek, Jesse Chavez, John Grabow and Capps each followed with a hitless inning - all but Chavez walking a batter. Capps had blown a 1-0 lead Friday night by allowing three runs in taking the loss.

"Burnett gave us three, I thought, good innings, and Meek and Chavez did a great job, Grabow, too," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. "That's what you need in a game like that. It's going to be a battle of the bullpens, and fortunately ours was pretty solid."

Colorado's was, too, with Matt Belisle, Jason Grilli, Randy Flores and Manuel Corpas combining to allow seven hits and no walks in 6 2-3 innings. But Belisle (1-1) took the loss because he allowed McLouth's fifth-inning homer, and Grilli was charged with two runs on three hits while retiring only one batter in the sixth.

"Their bullpen pitched better than ours," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said.

The Rockies took the early lead when Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe scored on Spilborghs' first-inning double. Barmes made it 3-0 with one out in the second when he took an 0-1 pitch from Snell into the left-field seats.

Pittsburgh scored four times on four hits and a walk before the rain came in the bottom of the second. The highlight was a two-run single by Young that scored LaRoche and Jason Jaramillo.

Immediately after that hit to center, umpires called for the grounds crew.

"That second inning, four runs, was as big a part of the game as anything that happened," Hurdle said.

Neither starter returned after the delay. After allowing only two earned runs in his past two starts combined, Colorado's Aaron Cook was charged with four runs on four hits in 1 2-3 innings.

"It was kind of bad," Cook said of his abbreviated outing, which began with perfect first. "I feel like I didn't even play today, and I'm charged four runs for it. The worst part is we lost the game."

Cook had minor lower back pain during the outing.

Snell allowed three runs and three hits with three strikeouts in two innings. Pittsburgh had won only one of his previous seven starts.

McLouth's solo homer, his sixth, was a line drive down the right-field line with two outs in the fifth. Saturday, the Pirates gave all fans a bobblehead with his likeness.

"Whether it's coincidence or not, it was kind of a neat night to (homer)," McLouth said.

That gave the Pirates the lead for good, and LaRoche made it 7-4 when he singled home Brandon Moss and then came around to score on Wilson's sacrifice fly.

"We got the hits we needed to tonight," McLouth said. "And good things happened."


Pirates OF Nyjer Morgan was not in the lineup after tweaking a hamstring during Friday night's game. Although the injury is not seen as serious, he is not expected to play Sunday, either. ... Helton has 1,999 career hits. ... Twenty-one of Barmes' 34 career home runs have come at home.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 17, 2009

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