DENVER (AP) — Brendan Rodgers homered and drove in four runs, C.J. Cron hit his 21st home run and German Marquez became the second Colorado pitcher to reach 900 career strikeouts as the Rockies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-2 on Friday night.
Elias Diaz had two hits and three RBIs and Charlie Blackmon had three hits and two RBIs as the Rockies extended their winning streak to four games. Blackmon had two singles off Pittsburgh starter Jose Quintana, improving to 8 for 13 against the left-hander in his career.
The Rockies have won seven of nine and have scored 33 runs in their four-game streak.
“We came out swinging tonight,” said Rodgers, whose two-out, three-run double in the third inning gave the Rockies a 4-1 lead. “We’re feeling good. The (All-Star) break is coming, but we are trying not to think too far in advance. We have two more games left to win, and that’s our goal.”
Marquez (6-7) gave up two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings before leaving in the seventh inning after being struck in the back of the right leg by a one-hopper from Kevin Newman.
Marquez recovered to pick up the ball and throw Newman out for the first out of the seventh, but he went to the ground momentarily and was tended to by a member of the training staff. Marquez retired the next batter and was removed after Jake Marisnick’s a two-out double.
“It’s sore, but it’s going to be good,” said Marquez, who is just behind Jorge De La Rosa’s 985 strikeouts. “Nothing bad.”
Marquez is 6-1 with a 1.89 ERA in seven career starts against the Pirates, and he became the first Colorado pitcher to throw a one-hit shutout at Coors Field the last time he faced the Pirates on June 29, 2021.
“It’s not a surprise I throw good games against the Pirates,” said Marquez, who likes the nickname “Easy Cheese.” “Today was a lot of easy cheese.”
Marisnick had two doubles and scored a run, and Jason Delay had a run-scoring single in the fifth for the Pirates, who have lost three in a row after a four-game winning streak. The Pirates are 5-5 on the final leg of a 11-day, 12-game trip that concludes in Denver on Sunday.
Rodgers had a three-run double in the third, hitting a 3-2 changeup to the opposite field down the right-field line to clear the bases, Diaz had a two-run single in the fourth and Cron and Rodgers hit back-to-back homers with one out in a five-run seventh.
“I felt pretty comfortable going into that second at-bat,” Rodgers said. “Fouled some good pitches off. Got to 3-2. That was his third or fourth 3-2 count, and he had thrown a changeup in every one. I wouldn’t say I was looking for it, but it was in the back of my mind.”
Marquez, who had four strikeouts and no walks, had his 900th career strikeout when he got Marisnick looking on a 97 mph fastball in the fifth inning. Jorge De La Rosa had 985 strikeouts.
“It means a lot to me,” said Marquez, who is in his seventh season with the Rockies. “I want to hit 1,000. It’s going to be this year or next year.”
Quintana (2-5) gave up a season-high six runs on seven hits in five innings.
“I think the issue today was deep counts,” Quintana said. “I had some two-strike counts a didn’t put them away, especially in the third inning. So I paid for for that.”
THE VERSATILE MR. HAMPSON
Colorado’s Garrett Hampson singled in the seventh inning to extend a seven-game, four-position hitting streak. He entered in the fifth inning when Jose Iglesias left with neck stiffness.
Hampson is 7 for 23 with two doubles, three RBIs and six runs in a stretch that included two starts at shortstop, two in center field, one at second base and one at third.
“That type of player affords you a lot of comfort,” said Colorado manager Bud Black, who also mentioned the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor and the Padres’ Chris Cronenworth. “Those guys are huge.”
“I take pride in being able to move around the diamond a little bit,” Hampson said.
Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz has 16 RBIs since being recalled June 20, tied with Minnesota first baseman Jose Miranda for the major league lead among rookies.
Cruz also has the hardest thrown ball by an infielder this season as measured by Statcast, a 97.8 mph throw to retire Luke Williams in the third inning of a 3-2 loss at Miami on Thursday. Statcast has been tracking throws since 2015.
“We’re excited about his growth as a player,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said.
Pirates: CF Bryan Reynolds (oblique) has not begun baseball activities and will not return before the All-Star break, manager Derek Shelton said. … C Tyler Heineman was activated from the family medical emergency list and C Michael Perez was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. … The Pirates recalled OF Cal Mitchell from Indianapolis and optioned OF Jack Suwinski. ”Jack is going to be a good player for us,” Shelton said. “It’s important for us to let him get his bearings.” Rookie Suwinksi leads the Pirates with 14 homers but is hitting .198. … LHP Cam Alldred was added to the taxi squad and LHP Eric Stout was returned to Indianapolis.
Rockies: SS Jose Iglesias (neck stiffness) was removed from the game in the top of the fifth inning. … RHP Carlos Estevez was placed on the paternity list Friday and RHP Chad Smith was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque.
Pirates RHP Mitch Keller (3-6, 4.88 ERA) is to oppose Rockies RHP Jose Urena (0-1, 3.00) in the second game of the series Saturday afternoon. Keller gave up one run in seven innings in a 5-1 victory over Miami on Monday, his longest and most effective start of the season. Urena has made quality starts in both of his appearances since being purchased from Triple-A Albuquerque on July 6.