Rockies Beat Pirates To Split Series

The Rockies won a necessary game.

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Carlos Gonzalez Plays Hero In 8-4 Victory

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Carlos Gonzalez finished 4-for-5 with a two- run homer and drove in three runs as Colorado downed Pittsburgh, 8-4, in the finale of a four-game set from PNC Park.

Dexter Fowler added two hits, two RBI and two runs scored for the Rockies, who earned a split in the set and recovered from Saturday’s shocking 8-7 loss in 10 innings.

Recalled before the game from Triple-A Colorado Springs, Esmil Rogers (2-2) picked up the win despite allowing eight hits and four runs — three earned — over six innings. The 24-year-old righty earned his first victory since May 23 and helped his cause with two doubles and an RBI.

Neil Walker was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Ronny Cedeno also knocked in a run for the Pirates, who have dropped eight of 11.

Paul Maholm (7-10) suffered the setback after yielding seven hits and eight runs — six earned — over just 2 2/3 frames.

Gonzalez drilled a two-run shot in the first to put the Rockies on the board, then Colorado tacked on four more in the second on a Fowler RBI single and RBI doubles from Clint Barmes, Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.

Cedeno’s RBI single in the second cut Pittsburgh’s deficit to six, but Colorado’s offense plated two more in the third, as Rogers helped his cause with a run-scoring single and Fowler drove in a run on a two-out hit.

A Garrett Jones fielder’s choice in the third brought the Bucs within 8-2 in the home half, then it became 8-4 in the fifth on RBI hits from Walker and Pedro Alvarez.

Rogers ended his outing in the sixth by stranding a runner on second. Joe Beimel turned in a scoreless eighth then Beimel and Matt Belisle held the Pirates in the eighth.

Rafael Betancourt set down the side in order in the ninth.

The Rockies optioned infielder Chris Nelson to the Sky Sox to complete the Rogers move…Also, before the contest, the Pirates fired bench coach Gary Varsho and pitching coach Joe Kerrigan. The slots were filled by Ray Searage and Jeff Banister…The Pirates fell to 23-15 all-time at PNC Park against the Rockies…Colorado improved to 24-17 against left-handed starters in 2010…Gonzalez and Tulowitzki ended the series a combined 18-for-35.

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Esmil Rogers Returns To Majors In Start Against Pirates

After Aaron Cook went on the disabled list with a sprained right big toe earlier in the week, a new starter would be necessary for Sunday's game. At first Jhoulys Chacin looked to receive the call-up again, but on Thursday night Chacin made his scheduled start for the Sky Sox. With that start having eliminated Chacin, the only other candidate was Esmil Rogers.

Rogers started the season with the Rockies and made three relief appearances before heading to Colorado Springs. He returned on May 1 for a start and made another start on May 7. He then spent the rest of the month in the bullpen before returning the minors. In early July he was back up briefly and made two relief appearances. This start will be his fourth go-around with the team and will most likely be sent back down again. We'll probably see him in September.

For the Sky Sox in July, Rogers has gone 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA and 24 K in four starts.

The Pirates' Paul Maholm is, well, Paul Maholm. The Rockies really need to bring it against Maholm today before the off-day and then a three-game series with the Mets at Citi Field.

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