National League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, July 17th
(All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (49-40) at Colorado Rockies (35-54), 8:40 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Erik Bedard (4-10, 4.80)
Colorado - Christian Friedrich (5-6, 5.60)
(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Pirates were much more disciplined at the
plate in Monday's series opener against the Colorado Rockies, but still lost.
The Pirates, who matched a franchise record for a nine-inning game with 17
strikeouts in Sunday's 4-1 loss to Milwaukee, look to get back on track this
evening in the second test of a three-game set from Coors Field.
Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer and starting pitcher Jeff Karstens drove
in a run. Karstens allowed four runs and six hits in seven innings for a no-
decision before Jason Grilli gave up the game-winning run in the bottom of the
ninth on a sacrifice fly from Dexter Fowler. Wilin Rosario singled and later
came around to score when Fowler lifted a fly ball to center field.
"We knew we had to get something done and knew we had to get it done quick,"
Fowler said. "We didn't know if the rain was coming back or how long we'd have
Andrew McCutchen finished 2-for-4 with a run scored to continue his hot
streak. He entered the night batting .560 with seven home runs, 19 runs scored
and 16 RBI in the past 12 games, and currently leads the major leagues with a
.372 batting average. McCutchen had homered in four straight games and was
named National League Player of the Week for the second week in a row.
"Andrew is playing the game at a very high caliber right now on both sides of
the ball," Pirates manager and former Colorado skipper Clint Hurdle told the
club's website. "Offensively, with the big swing of the bat ... it's been fun
to watch. The numbers up there really get your attention."
Neil Walker has been receiving plenty of attention lately and collected three
hits and a run scored to push his hitting streak to 16 games. He is two games
shy of his career-best hitting streak established in 2010.
Prior to the game, the Pirates activated outfielder Alex Presley from the
seven-day concussion disabled list and he went 1-for-4.
Pittsburgh remained one game behind Cincinnati for the NL Central lead. The
Reds lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks last night. The Pirates have lost three
of four games on their six-game road trip, and another setback would give them
back-to-back losses in series since May 18-23.
Erik Bedard hasn't won since June 8 and will take the mound for the Pirates
tonight. He is 0-4 with a 7.99 earned run average over his last five starts
and suffered his third consecutive loss on July 6 in a 6-5 setback versus San
Francisco, where he gave up five runs -- four earned -- in 3 2/3 innings.
Bedard, who has yielded four or more runs in each of his last three outings,
is just 4-10 with a 4.80 ERA in 17 starts this season. The left-hander is 2-7
in nine road starts and lost his only career start against Colorado back on
June 10, 2007 as a member of Baltimore. Bedard gave up nine hits and three
runs -- two earned -- in five innings of a 6-1 defeat.
Colorado halted a two-game slide to win for the fourth time in seven tries.
Jeff Francis held the Pirates to a run over the first five innings and Rex
Brothers later took the mound in the ninth following a lengthy rain delay to
pick up the win.
Eric Young Jr. had a two-run double to highlight a four-run fifth inning for
the Rockies, who are 2-2 on a six-game homestand and have scored at least four
runs in four of the past five games. Also, Rockies infielder Chris Nelson was
admitted to a local hospital and was to remain overnight Monday as he
undergoes tests for an irregular heartbeat.
The Rockies are hoping Christian Friedrich can duplicate his last performance
and pitch them to the victory column tonight. Friedrich was 0-5 with a 7.85
earned run average in six starts before beating Philadelphia on Friday with
six innings of one-run ball and seven strikeouts in a 6-2 victory.
Friedrich outdueled Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee in the process.
"I learned so much from observing him, his workouts and work ethic, the way he
throws the ball," Friedrich said of Lee. "We had conversations but it wasn't
always about baseball, just small talk and stuff."
Friedrich improved to 5-6 with a 5.60 ERA in 13 starts in his rookie campaign
and will face Pittsburgh for the first time. In six starts at Coors Field, the
left-hander is 2-3 with a less-than-stellar 8.01 ERA.
Colorado dropped two of three meetings with Pittsburgh at PNC Park in April.
07/17 17:17:31 ET
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