Colorado Rockies (52-59) at Pittsburgh Pirates (65-44), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Colorado - Jorge De La Rosa (10-5, 3.21)
Pittsburgh - Francisco Liriano (11-4, 2.16)
(Sports Network) - Francisco Liriano is a big reason why the Pittsburgh
Pirates are at the top of the NL Central.
The lefty heads to the mound Saturday hoping to get the Bucs back on the
winning track when they continue a three-game series against the Colorado
Pittsburgh holds a slim half-game lead on St. Louis in the division.
Liriano has won two consecutive starts and is 6-1 over his last seven
contests, the same mark he's recorded at home this year. Aside from giving up
five runs in a loss at Cincinnati on July 19, Liriano has yielded two runs or
less in the remainder of his last eight starts. That includes giving up one
run over the last two outings, covering 14 2/3 innings in wins over the
Cardinals and Nationals.
This season is a big change from last year for Liriano, who was a combined
6-12 in 2012 with the Twins and White Sox. His ERA at PNC Park is 1.61 in
Liriano lost his only career start against the Rockies when he gave up three
runs in seven innings on June 17, 2010. All three runs he allowed came in the
Jorge De La Rosa counters Liriano for the Rockies. The lefty is 2-0 over his
last four starts and hasn't lost since July 5 at Arizona. De La Rosa was
fortunate not to take a loss on Monday at Atlanta when he gave up 10 hits and
eight runs -- five earned -- over five innings. The Rockies lost that game,
9-8, in 10 innings.
Jhoulys Chacin pitched eight strong innings and Troy Tulowitzki homered in
Colorado's 4-2 win last night. Chacin (10-5), who retired the final 14 batters
he faced, gave up six hits, a run and had three strikeouts.
"He was outstanding. Exactly what we needed. We need to save the pen," Rockies
manager Walt Weiss said.
Tulowitzki and Todd Helton each drove in two runs for the Rockies, who snapped
a four-game skid.
Gerrit Cole (5-5) allowed three hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings. The
rookie right-hander also had six strikeouts, but lost for the fifth time in
his last six starts.
"I felt like we played a good game," Cole said. "We just didn't string hits
together at the right times early."
Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez each knocked in a run for the Pirates, who
took four of five games from the Cardinals earlier this week to take over
first place in their division. The Bucs were throttled, 13-0, in the finale of
that series Thursday night.
The Rockies and Pirates are meeting for the first time since Pittsburgh took
four of six matchups a season ago.