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Pirates aim to bounce back against Rockies

(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Pirates will try to bounce back when they open a three-game series versus the Colorado Rockies Friday at PNC Park.

The Pirates were aiming for a rare five-game sweep of the rival St. Louis Cardinals, but were clobbered 13-0 in Thursday's finale. Charlie Morton was dealt the loss and allowed five runs and 10 hits in six innings. Jeanmar Gomez did no better in relief, giving up seven runs, five of which were earned.

"We held a team in the bag for four days and the cat got out tonight," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

Starling Marte had two of the five hits for Pittsburgh, which had won four in a row and nine of 12 games. The Pirates now hold a 1 1/2-game lead on the Cardinals for NL Central bragging rights.

Pirates rookie hurler Gerrit Cole looks to pitch his club and himself back into the win column when he takes the mound Friday. Cole has lost four of his last five starts, including Sunday's 3-2 setback at Miami in which he surrendered all three runs in seven innings.

Cole is 5-4 in nine starts with a 3.56 earned run average and 3-3 in six appearances at PNC Park. The right-hander has never faced the Rockies.

Much like the Pirates, Colorado is coming off an embarrassing loss, an 11-2 defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.

The Rockies failed to salvage the finale of the four-game set in Atlanta and starting pitcher Chad Bettis was dealt the loss for permitting five runs over five innings in his major league debut. Bettis was recalled from Double-A Tulsa prior to the game.

"If we can push the results aside, then it's a great day," Bettis said. "It still is, but we've got a lot of work to do."

DJ LeMahieu had three hits and both Corey Dickerson and Jonathan Herrera drove in runs in the loss. Rockies All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was ejected after the second inning for arguing with home-plate umpire Marvin Hudson after a strikeout. The Rockies had runners at second and third.

"I didn't think the first and third pitch were strikes," Tulowitzki said on the club's website. "He kept on saying they were. We went back and forth. There was no cussing or anything like that. I was telling him the ball was down. He just kept on saying, 'It was a good pitch,' and I said, 'No, no.' I kept disagreeing with him."

The Rockies were without outfielders Carlos Gonzalez (sprained right middle finger) and Michael Cuddyer (family issue).

Colorado is winless (0-4) on its 10-game eastern road trip and hopes Jhoulys Chacin can record his 10th win on the hill Friday. Chacin is 1-2 in his last four starts and did not record a decision in Sunday's 6-5 win versus Milwaukee, as he tossed seven innings of three-run ball.

Chacin is 9-5 in 20 starts with a 3.54 ERA and hasn't pitched well in his career against Pittsburgh, going 1-3 in four starts with a 6.97 ERA.

The Rockies and Pirates are meeting for the first time since Pittsburgh took four of six matchups a season ago.

08/02 10:55:25 ET

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