Rockies almost blow big lead to Pirates, 10-8
Colorado allowed an eight-run lead to dwindle before holding on to win.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Matt Holliday drove in three runs for the Colorado Rockies, who almost let an eight-run lead slip away before holding on for a 10-8 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.
All but one of the game’s 18 runs scored in the first five innings, and there were five errors and a major league record-tying five sacrifice flies.
Starters John Van Benschoten of Colorado and Taylor Buchholz pitched a combined six innings and gave up 15 runs.
The only starters on either team not to get a hit were Rockies second baseman Kazuo Matsui and Van Benschoten, who did not have an official at-bat.
Doumit leads Pirates
Ryan Doumit had two hits and two RBIs for Pittsburgh, which has lost four straight.
Colorado had lost three of four.
Things got out of hand quickly for Van Benschoten (0-4), who has made six starts since being recalled on June 16.
Colorado’s five-run first inning included an RBI double by Holliday, a bases loaded walk to Brad Hawpe, a two-run single by Troy Tulowitzki and a run-scoring groundout by Yorvit Torrealba.
The Rockies added a run in the second on a sacrifice fly by Holliday. Colorado scored three in the third, one off Van Benschoten and two off reliever Tony Armas.
Van Benschoten allowed nine earned runs, six hits and two walks in two-plus innings.
The Pirates scored the next seven runs.
Three came in the third on RBI singles by Doumit, Jason Bay and Jack Wilson that cut Colorado’s lead to 9-4. Sacrifice flies by Adam LaRoche and Xavier Nady in the fourth made it a three-run game and the Pirates got within 9-8 in the fifth against Matt Herges on pinch-hitter Matt Kata’s RBI single and a suicide squeeze bunt by Nate McLouth.
Despite being handed the eight-run lead, Buchholz could not earn the win. He allowed six runs — four earned — in four innings, striking out five and walking one.
Holliday gave the Rockies a 10-8 lead with another sacrifice fly, the Rockies’ third of the game, in the sixth.
The Pirates put two men on in each of the next two innings. LaTroy Hawkins (1-4), who was awarded the win by official scorer Tony Krizmanich, ended the first threat by getting Bay to ground into a double play.
Manuel Corpas worked the ninth for his second save.
The last time there were five sacrifice flies in an NL game was last year between the same teams, June 7 at Colorado. The Rockies had all five. ... Pittsburgh entered the game having won five of six at PNC Park but in the Pirates’ last three losses here they have given up a total of 27 runs. ... The game took 3 hours, 29 minutes.