PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ke’Bryan Hayes had three hits and scored the tiebreaking run on Yoshi Tsutsugo’s infield single in the eighth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 2-1 on Monday night.
Hayes singled to lead off the eighth against Tyler Kinley (1-1), stole second base and advanced to third on Daniel Vogelbach’s groundout. Tsutsugo then beat out a slow bouncer to second base, enabling Hayes to score.
Hayes was happy to manufacture a run, especially after the Pirates had been 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position before Tsutsugo’s hit.
“It’s hard to get runs at this level,” Hayes said. “We’re not a team that’s going to hit three or four home runs in a game. We’re just trying to keep the line moving and get those big hits whenever we can and move guys over.”
Despite numerous pickoff throws from Kinley, Hayes was determined to steal his way into scoring position.
“After a few deliveries to home, his times to the plate were in my favor,” Hayes said. “I kind of shortened my lead up, just in case, so I didn’t get picked off because I knew with his times, I would be able to get there easier.”
David Bednar (1-0) escaped a first-and-second jam in the eighth to keep the game tied at 1. He followed with a scoreless ninth.
Josh VanMeter added two hits for the Pirates, who had lost three straight games. Connor Joe had two hits for the Rockies.
Pirates starter JT Brubaker gave up only one unearned run in 6 2/3 innings on five hits yet remained winless in nine starts this season. He struck out four and walked two after notching a career-high 10 strikeouts in his previous start in a loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Brubaker’s throwing error led to the Rockies eventually scoring their run in the fourth inning on Randal Grichuk’s double play to make it 1-all.
“My expectation has been to be like this all year,” Brubaker said. “The key has been getting back into the (strike) zone. It’s like I’ve been saying, if I can get the ball in the zone consistently then I have a chance to be successful.”
Rockies starter Chad Kuhl pitched 4 2/3 shaky innings but allowed only one run in his first start against his former team. He had four walks and one strikeout while throwing 103 pitches and allowing five hits.
Kuhl spent his first five seasons with the Pirates before being released last November.
“He was a little erratic obviously, but the positive is he made some pitches when he really needed to and got some huge outs,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “It’s really good to see when a pitcher is not on top of his game and wiggles out of it. He kept a cool head and didn’t rattle. I really liked the battle for Chad Kuhl.”
The Pirates struck quickly for the game’s first run as Ben Gamel drew a leadoff walk, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Hayes’ double into the right-field corner.
The Rockies, who were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position, have lost 10 of their last 11 road games and eight of their last 12 games against the Pirates.
PEREZ HOPES FOR RETURN
Pirates catcher Roberto Perez returned to the team after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in his left hamstring. Perez is eligible for free agency at the end of the season and would like to return to Pittsburgh.
“I feel like I owe them another year of me,” said Perez, who was signed to a one-year, $5 million contract in the offseason. “I love it here.”
The Pirates selected the contract of RHP Yerry De Los Santos from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned RHP Bryse Wilson to the same club.
Wilson began the season in the starting rotation. He went 0-3 with a 7.53 ERA in eight games, including five starts, and had 14 walks in 28 2/3 innings.
“It’s coming down to the fact that he’s got to put the ball in play,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “That was our message to him. He’s a guy that has commanded the ball throughout his career and thrown strikes, but it’s just not as consistent as it needs to be right now.”
Rockies: LF Kris Bryant (back soreness) was a late scratch. … RHP Robert Stephenson was placed on the COVID-19 injured list and RHP Ashton Goudeau was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque. … RHP Antonio Senzatela (lower back strain) is scheduled to make a rehab start Friday for Albuquerque, his first since being injured. … RHP Peter Lambert (right forearm inflammation) pitched two scoreless innings for Albuquerque on Sunday in his rehab assignment.
Pirates: Vogelbach (lower-body injury) was back in the lineup after missing three games. … SS Kevin Newman (left groin strain/left hamstring strain) was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL to clear a 40-man roster spot for De Los Santos. Newman cannot be activated until June 27.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (1-4, 4.85 ERA) starts Tuesday night coming off back-to-back losses.
Pirates: RHP Roansy Contreras (1-0, 3.52) is expected to be recalled from Indianapolis and make the start after appearing three times in relief for Pittsburgh earlier this season.