Kevin Newman, Bryan Reynolds stay hot as Pirates roll past Rockies
DENVER — The Pittsburgh Pirates racked up 17 hits and three home runs at Coors Field Saturday night, defeating Colorado 11-4 behind a team .386 (17 of 44) batting average.
The Bucs (59-77) dealt early damage to the Rockies once again, as Kevin Newman hit his 10th home run of the year on the first pitch of the game.
Bryan Reynolds then hit a single, advanced to third on a throwing error (the first of three defensive errors by the Rockies) and was scored by a sacrifice fly by Colin Moran.
Reynolds and Newman were both electric at the plate. The former went 3 of 6 with 2 doubles, 3 RBI and a run scored while Newman was 3 of 5, also with 3 RBI, scoring 3 runs.
Newman’s leadoff home run and single in the second both were on the first pitches he saw. Then in the third inning, after Rockies starter Tim Melville had exited after allowing 5 runs and 6 hits in 2.0 innings of work, reliever Wes Parsons came at him with a slider low and away and then a sinker inside.
Parsons went for another slider on the third pitch and Newman sliced a single into center field on a 2-0 count.
“He has no fear of swinging early,” Hurdle said. “He’s learning and hunting what he wants to hit. If the fastball is not in that spot as a first pitch then (he’ll) take… he can hit off speed stuff as well and he’s shown us that ability.
The second inning saw the Pirates plate an additional three thanks to an RBI single by Newman and Reynolds’ first RBI double.
Joe Musgrove (9-12, 4.67 ERA) started for the Pirates and was effective, earning the win via a quality start of 6 innings pitched while he allowed 3 runs on 8 hits.
“He followed his game plan well,” Hurdle said. “He didn’t give in… he left runners on base multiple times. The fastball moved all around the zone. He left a couple balls up and they got hit — (but there was) no panic, (he) slowed things down and kept them at one-run innings. He was very good keeping everything in check.”
Musgrove and Jacob Stallings behind the plate proved to be an effective partnership.
“Anytime you get more work with someone and you have success and failure, you learn what works and what doesn’t,” Stallings said. “I love going out there and competing with (Musgrove). He’s probably the best competitor on our team. I feed off that as a catcher.”
Stallings was good with a bat in his hands too, finishing 3 of 4 with 2 runs scored and a walk hitting out of the 8-hole.
Musgrove got some more cushion room in the fourth, as Josh Bell crushed his 35th home run of the year while Jose Osuna hit his 10th, giving Pittsburgh a 7-3 advantage.
In the top of the seventh, the Pirates got three more runs, all with two outs.
Michael Feliz tossed a scoreless seventh before handing the ball over to Parker Markel, who after giving up a leadoff homer to Daniel Murphy to begin the bottom of the eighth, settled down and struck out three in his two innings of work.
Heading into the ninth, Starling Marte was the lone Pirate lacking a hit but he remedied that promptly with an RBI single to right field.
The Pirates and Rockies complete their four-game series on Sunday at 3:10 ET.