Closer Melancon takes first loss as Pirates fall to Rockies

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Mark Melancon collects himself on the mound after giving up a single to Colorado Rockies' Tony Wolters that drove in one run and allowed another to score on an error on Pirates first baseman John Jaso in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, May 21, 2016. The Rockies won 5-1. (AP)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Mark Melancon was philosophical after his first loss of the season.

Rookie infielder Cristhian Adames’ first career home run capped a four-run ninth inning as the Rockies rallied to beat Melancon and the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 on Saturday, ending their eight-game losing streak against Pittsburgh.

Adames’ two-run shot to straightaway center field came after rookie catcher Tony Wolters singled with runners on second and third off Melancon (0-1) to snap a 1-1 tie, the ball hitting off the first base bag. First baseman Josh Jaso then bobbled the ball, his error allowing a second run to score on play.

It was Melancon’s first loss since Sept. 28 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

“Obviously, the whole inning was a little screwy,” Melancon said. “But it’s why this game’s so beautiful. You have to play until the end of every game. You have to get the last out and there’s no clock, so you can’t run it out. You have to play every out.”

Jaso admitted that the game-winning hit coming on a ball that hit off base made for a disappointing loss.

“That’s the way the game goes,” Jaso said. “And I think the more you put the ball in play, the better chance you have of something going your way. So, that’s the way it worked.”

Adames entered the game at second base in the eighth inning as part of a double switch and homered off Jared Hughes in his 115th career plate appearance.

“I knew I hit pretty good but I’m not a home run hitter,” Adames said. “I just try to get on base to help my team win but I thought I could be aggressive in that situation.”

Rookie reliever Carlos Estevez (1-1) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless inning for his first major league win as the Rockies snapped a three-game overall losing streak.

Adames and Estevez played in the same Little League in the Dominican Republic.

Tyler Chatwood broke the Rockies’ franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings on the road by running his streak to 27 2/3 innings before Jordy Mercer’s two-out single in the fourth tied the score at 1-1. The previous record was 27 innings by Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010.

It was the only run Chatwood allowed over six innings. He gave up six hits while walking two and striking out two.

Pirates left-hander Jon Niese gave up only one run on four hits in seven innings while recording his third quality start after having just two in his first six outings. He had four strikeouts and one walk.

“(Catcher Francisco Cervelli) and I had a game plan going in and we executed,” Niese said. “Unfortunately, the team didn’t come up with the win at the end.”

The Rockies’ Mark Reynolds hit an RBI double in the first inning to open the scoring.

Rockies rookie shortstop Trevor Story had two hits.

Jaso and Mercer had two hits each for the Pirates, who lost for the second time in seven games. Mercer extended his hitting streak to seven games.

The start of the game was delayed 56 minutes by rain.


Pirates 3B Jung Ho Kang left the game after the fifth inning because of discomfort in his left hand but said “everything’s good,” after the game.

Kang was injured when he was thrown out sliding into home plate in the fourth inning while trying to score on Matt Joyce’s grounder. Kang’s hand collided with one of Wolters’ shin guards.


Rockies: LF Carlos Gonzalez was not in the starting lineup, though he entered the game as part of a double switch in the seventh inning and struck out in his only plate appearance, running his streak of hitless at-bats to 16.

Pirates: CF Andrew McCutchen did not start for just the second time in 42 games as manager Clint Hurdle decided not to play him on a wet field.