Posted July 18, 2012 on AP on Fox
Erik Bedard pitched effectively into the seventh inning for his first win in more than a month, Andrew McCutchen homered, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 6-2 Tuesday night to become the fifth team with at least 50 wins. The Pirates joined the New York Yankees (56), Texas Rangers (54), Washington Nationals (52) and Cincinnati Reds (51), whom they trail by one game in the NL Central. Bedard (5-10) went 6 2-3 innings and allowed two runs - one earned - on five hits in snapping his second four-game losing streak of the season. He struck out four and walked four in his first win since beating Kansas City on June 8. Christian Friedrich (5-7) gave up five runs on six hits in 4 2-3 innings in losing for the sixth time in his last seven decisions. He walked three and struck out two. With two outs in the ninth, reliever Juan Cruz walked Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez and closer Joel Hanrahan walked Michael Cuddyer to load the bases before striking out pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin to earn his 25th save in 28 chances. Trailing 2-1, the Pirates batted around in a four-run fifth to go in front 5-2. Friedrich walked Michael McKenry and Clint Barmes to start the inning and Bedard advanced them with a sacrifice. Alex Presley's RBI groundout evened the score and Barmes scored the go-ahead run on Drew Sutton's single. McCutchen, who homered in the fourth for the Pirates' first run, then singled. After Friedrich's wild pitch got past catcher Wilin Rosario and rolled to the backstop, allowing Sutton to score from third and McCutchen to move up, Casey McGehee hit an RBI single that chased Friedrich. Neil Walker singled off reliever Matt Reynolds to extend his hitting streak to 17 games before Pedro Alvarez struck out to end the inning. Bedard retired the first two batters he faced in the seventh before Marco Scutaro singled to right. He walked Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez to load the bases and was relieved by Jared Hughes who got Michael Cuddyer to fly out to deep center for the final out of the inning. Pittsburgh then added another run in the eighth on an RBI double by McKenry, a former Rockie. The Rockies got an unearned run in the third when Scutaro scored from third after left fielder Alex Presley had Cuddyer's fly ball kick off the webbing of his glove for an error. McCutchen connected for his 22nd homer leading off the fourth, but the Rockies took a 2-1 lead in bottom of the inning when Rosario walked and Josh Rutledge followed with an opposite-field triple to right. NOTES: Pittsburgh sends RHP James McDonald (9-3) against RHP Jeremy Guthrie (3-9) in the finale of its three-game series at Colorado on Wednesday. ... The Pirates have hit homers in eight straight games and 19 of their last 21, totaling 34 in that span. ... The Rockies have placed infielders Jonathan Herrera (left wrist infection) and Chris Nelson (irregular heart beat) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled outfielder Andrew Brown and infielder DJ LeMahieu. ... Rockies' RHP Jhoulys Chacin (right shoulder inflammation) came out of a 30-pitch simulated game well Tuesday and is slated for a roughly 45-pitch simulated game on Sunday. ... Walker's 17-game hitting streak is the longest by a Pirates player this season and one shy of his career high, set in 2010. ... Fowler has 16 hits in his last nine games. ... The Rockies stranded 13 base runners, including three in the ninth.
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