Rockies pummel Pirates
DENVER ” The Colorado Rockies turned the flyout into a weapon.
The Rockies tied a major league record with five sacrifice flies in their 16-9 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.
“We were talking about it a little bit and we had only 10 going in and we put that play in the offensive handbook today,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said, joking. “We decided that’s a play we need to utilize more.”
Colorado matched the mark for a nine-inning game set by the Seattle Mariners against Oakland on Aug. 7, 1988.
The Rockies were stoked about making a little history ” at least once they were told they did.
“Wow, that’s nice,” said Yorvit Torrealba, who tied his career-high with five RBIs with a second-inning grand slam and sacrifice fly in the fourth. “I’ll be in the record (books) somewhere.”
Torrealba’s first home run with Colorado off Oliver Perez (2-7) gave the Rockies a 9-2 lead.
All the sacrifice flies came in the first five innings with Ryan Spilborghs, Todd Helton, Garrett Atkins, Clint Barmes and Torrealba each doing it once.
The Rockies’ entire lineup hit Perez well. They had their biggest offensive output since a 20-1 win over San Diego on Sept. 20, 2005. The Rockies has scored a combined 14 runs in their previous seven games.
Perez had the worst outing of his career, allowing nine earned runs and five hits with four walks in two innings. He also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. His previous worst outing was May 6, 2005, at Arizona, when he gave up eight runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings.
“You have to be focused from the start and I wasn’t,” Perez said. “I was guilty of aiming the ball. I left the pitches up in the zone and they were able to drive in runs with fly balls.”
Jamey Carroll may have cemented himself into the leadoff role. He tied his career high with four hits for the second straight night. Carroll was 4-for-6 with a triple, double and two singles after going 4-for-4 with a homer Tuesday night.
“He hit the ball all over the ballpark,” Hurdle said.
Yet Carroll will check the lineup card every day, not knowing if his name will be penciled in.
“If I’m in there, I’m in there,” said Carroll, who’s gone 8-for-10 since Hurdle put Omar Quintanilla into the lineup for Monday’s game.
The Rockies may have taken their big lead for granted. Right-hander Josh Fogg struggled with the cushion and was knocked out during the Pirates’ six-run fifth that cut the lead to 11-8. He was charged with eight runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings against his former team. Scott Dohmann (1-0) earned his first win since Sept. 4, allowing one hit in 2 1-3 shutout innings.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game,” Hurdle said.
Hurdle and reliever Ray King didn’t see the end of it. Both were ejected by home plate umpire Tony Randazzo in the ninth inning. During the argument, Randazzo chest-bumped Hurdle.
“The whole game this guy’s been missing that pitch up,” King said. “If he wants to take it personal because I asked about it, so be it. I voiced my opinion.”
What did he say back?
“Some adult words,” King said.
Randazzo wasn’t available for comment before leaving the stadium, and crew chief Joe West said: “I’m not taking questions. We have a plane to catch.”
With just their fourth win in 15 games, the clubhouse was more jovial as Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” was cranked up loud on the stereo system.
“Guys are starting to swing the bats well,” said Atkins, who had the record-tying sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.
The back of the lineup did much of the damage Wednesday. The 5-6-7 hitters ” Atkins, Torrealba and Barmes ” were a combined 4-for-7 with 11 RBIs.
“That’s good to see,” Hurdle said. “Two wins in less than 24 hours kind of changed the slant around here. I know the guys have a little bounce in their step.”
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