Rockies rally, lose to Pirates 9-8 in 12 innings
DENVER (AP) For the second time in four days, the Colorado Rockies roared back from a big deficit only to lose late.
The bright side? At least this team is showing plenty of fight, according to manager Walt Weiss.
The Rockies erased a 7-0 deficit on Tuesday before Jordy Mercer hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the 12th inning to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 9-8 marathon win Wednesday night.
The loss mirrored Colorado's 12-10 loss to Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, where it rallied from six runs down to take the lead, only to squander it in the ninth.
''We've lost some tough ones,'' Weiss said. ''But sometimes that's the price you pay for fighting your way back into games, and you end up getting your heart broken because you keep competing. (Tonight) was one of those nights.''
Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado each hit their ninth homers of the season as part of Colorado's four-homer night. Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra also went deep for the Rockies, who have lost five straight. The game lasted 4 hours, 58 minutes.
Story had a chance to add another chapter to his phenomenal April in the bottom of the 12th inning. Pirates closer Mark Melancon, however, struck the rookie out looking, leaving two runners in scoring position.
''I disagreed with the call,'' Story said, ''but he called strike three so the game is over.''
Kyle Lobstein (2-0) pitched three scoreless innings and Melancon earned his fifth save for Pittsburgh, which has won eight straight in Denver. The Pirates last lost at Coors Field on July 27, 2014.
Gregory Polanco homered in the seventh inning and drew a walk off Carlos Estevez (0-1) before Mercer's game-winning double in 12th.
Earlier, the Pirates took a 7-0 lead on Rockies starter Jon Gray, who allowed six runs on nine hits in his second start since coming off the 15-day disabled list.
The rookie needed 96 pitches to get through 3 2/3 innings, and 23 of those were foul balls. The Pirates were locked in with two strikes, fouling off 12 of those offerings.
''The plan was to come in and get weak contact,'' Gray said. ''I thought I did, just feeling unlucky at this point. But there are times I need to put guys away that would help.''
Pittsburgh starter Jonathon Niese cruised through the first three innings before Colorado rallied. Story and Arenado hit solo home runs in the four-run fourth, and Niese left after loading the bases with no outs in the sixth.
Reynolds cut it to one with a two-run homer off Neftali Perez in the seventh and Parra tied it with a solo shot off Tony Watson in the eighth.
''Just couldn't get the big hit in the extra innings,'' Weiss said. ''I think both teams had opportunities a few different times in extra innings. In the end they ended up getting the big hit late.''
Pirates: INF Jung Ho Kang (left knee) was in the lineup for Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday. It is the second time Kang has played in back-to-back games since starting his rehab assignment April 17. He is expected to be out until at least early May.
Rockies: LHP Jorge De La Rosa was placed on the 15-day DL with a left groin strain, and Colorado recalled RHP Eddie Butler from Triple-A. The move comes a day after De La Rosa allowed four runs in three innings against the Pirates. ... OF Charlie Blackmon (turf toe) went 1 for 4 in a rehab assignment for Class-A Modesto on Wednesday.
Mercer's double in the 12th meant that every starting position player in the game had at least one hit.
FILE UNDER IRONIC
The Colorado Rockies postponed Thursday's scheduled Weather and Science Day at Coors Field due to ... weather. The interactive event - put on by the Rockies, Colorado State University and the local NBC affiliate - will now be held May 11.
Pirates: RHP Juan Nicasio (2-2) will make his second start against his former team. Nicasio, who was with the Rockies from 2011-14, is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA in six appearances against Colorado
Rockies: RHP Tyler Chatwood (2-2) lasted just four innings in his last outing, a loss to the Dodgers on Saturday.