Rockies lead from start to finish in 3-2 victory over Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Martín Pérez delivers during the first inning of a baseball against the Colorado Rockies in Pittsburgh on Friday, May 3, 2024. (AP)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ryan McMahon homered into the Allegheny River, Cal Quantrill pitched into the eighth inning and the Colorado Rockies finally held onto a lead during a 3-2 win over the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.

Colorado trailed in each of its first 31 games this season, a modern-era record. But not this time around.

“I’ll sleep a little better because I haven’t been sleeping well at all,” Rockies manager Bud Black said with a laugh after he was reminded that the streak was over. “Really, it’s been awful.”

McMahon put the Rockies in front when he opened the sixth with a drive over the right-field stands against Martín Pérez for his fifth homer. The ball splashed into the Allegheny 445 feet from home plate, the 71st time a home run has reached the water since PNC Park opened in 2001.

“It’s kind of like the goal of every hitter when you come in here to really juice one because you want to see it go in there,” McMahon said.

Elehuris Montero and Brendan Rodgers added RBI singles later in the sixth, and Quantrill (1-3) and two relievers did the rest as Colorado led wire to wire for the first time since beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 in September.

Jake Bird struck out Andrew McCutchen with two on to end the eighth. Jalen Beeks gave up a two-run homer to Oneil Cruz in the ninth that also reached the Allegheny, but he recorded two outs for his first save of the season.

The Rockies flirted with ending the streak this week in Miami when they took an early five-run lead on the Marlins only to fall in extra innings.

Quantrill beat the Pirates for the first time by limiting Pittsburgh to three hits with nine strikeouts. His only trouble spot came in the second when Rowdy Tellez and Jared Triolo singled with one out. Quantrill fanned Jack Suwinski and Joey Bart to end the threat, beginning a stretch in which he retired 18 of 19 batters. He was removed after hitting Bart with two outs in the eighth.

The victory was just the eighth in 32 games for Colorado, though Quantrill remains optimistic better days are ahead.

“This is a professional group and I still believe that we’re talented enough to win our fair share of baseball games,” Quantrill said.

Triolo had two hits for the Pirates, but Pittsburgh’s lineup sputtered once again.

The Pirates have dropped five straight and 14 of 17 following an 11-5 start. Pittsburgh has scored two runs or fewer 13 times during its swoon and is 3 for 40 with runners in scoring position over its last seven games.

“There’s a lot of work going on,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “We’re going through a tough stretch right now. We just have to keep working and build ourselves out of it.”

That lack of production is putting a lot of pressure on the pitching staff. Pérez (1-2), who has been solid in his first month with Pittsburgh, gave up eight hits with four walks in 5 1/3 inning as his ERA ticked up to 3.15.


Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (left elbow strain) has begun playing catch though there remains no timetable for a possible return. Freeland has been out since April 15. … Recalled RHP Angel Chivilli from Double-A Hartford and placed RHP Justin Lawrence on the paternity list.

Pirates: Activated C Yasmani Grandal (left foot plantar fasciitis) off the injured list and optioned C Henry Davis to Triple-A Indianapolis.


The series continues on Saturday when hard-throwing Pittsburgh rookie Jared Jones (2-3, 3.18 ERA) faces Colorado’s Austin Gomber (0-2, 4.50 ERA).