Gonzalez batters Pirates pitching in Rockies’ win | VailDaily.com

Gonzalez batters Pirates pitching in Rockies’ win

Associated Press
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, Colorado

Colorado Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez hits a two-run home run off Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm in the first inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010. The Rockies won 8-4. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH – Carlos Gonzalez hit his 25th homer among his four hits, and the Colorado Rockies salvaged a split of a four-game series against last-place Pittsburgh with an 8-4 victory over the Pirates on Sunday.

Gonzalez went 4 for 5 with his eighth homer in his past 11 games, drove in three runs and scored twice during a 9-for-18 series that helped Colorado win for the seventh time in 10 games.

Summoned from Triple-A to start Sunday, Esmil Rogers was effective enough through six innings, allowing the Rockies to win for only the second time in their past 10 road games.

Jose Tabata, Neil Walker and Ronny Cedeno each had two hits for the Pirates.

Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki combined to go 18 for 35 in the series. Tulowitzki reached base three times Sunday and is hitting .471 in his career at PNC Park.

The Rockies jumped on Pirates starter Paul Maholm early. Gonzalez homered for the fourth time in seven games against Pittsburgh this season, with Dexter Fowler aboard in the first.

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Colorado made it 6-0 in the second with consecutive RBI hits by Fowler, Clint Barmes, Gonzalez and Tulowitzki. The latter three came after a Fowler took second on a wild pitch and the Pirates disputed whether he was safe, claiming Neil Walker’s tag was applied.

When Rogers drove in a run with a double the following inning, Maholm (7-10) was pulled. He was charged with eight runs – six earned – on seven hits and two walks. He has allowed 22 earned runs over his past four starts.

Daniel McCutchen, recently bumped from the rotation, threw 4 1-3 scoreless innings of relief for Pittsburgh.

Rogers (2-2), who hit a second double in the sixth, allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts.

Notes: The Pirates fired pitching coach Joe Kerrigan and bench coach Gary Varsho, replacing them with Ray Searage and Jeff Banister. … McCutchen stole second after being hit by a pitch during the sixth inning, becoming the first Pirates pitcher to steal a base since Oliver Perez May 17, 2006, against Cincinnati. … The Rockies improved to 24-17 when facing lefthanded starters this season. … Colorado has won only one series at PNC Park since it opened in 2001.