PITTSBURGH — Black long-sleeved shirts under their gray jerseys and white clouds of breath were the only clues that the Rockies were playing in frigid conditions Monday night.
Because the Rockies stayed red hot, beating the Pirates, 6-2, behind a stellar start from German Marquez and home runs by Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon. On a damp, frigid night (a wind chill of 27 degrees), the Rockies won for the fifth time in six games. They are 8-2 in their last 10 games away from Coors Field.
That Blackmon should homer — again — came as no surprise. The all-star center fielder’s solo drive to right field in the eighth inning was his seventh of the young season, all coming on the road.
Story, meanwhile, jumped on a 2-2 slider from Pirates left-hander Steven Brault, who pitched at Denver’s Regis University, and sent it deep into the left-field seats for a three-run blast, his fourth home run of the season.
“I’m just trying to keep it simple in my cage work, and all of my work before the game,” said Story, who’s been struggling and struck out four times Sunday at Washington. “Now, all of that is overflowing into the game.
“This feels great, especially after striking out four times. That never sits well, for anybody. To be able to contribute today and have some good at bats feels great. I’m happy about the win.”
Marquez continues to show promise of becoming a dominate force. With his fastball humming at 96 mph and his 75 mph curve bending knees, Marquez mesmerized the Pirates for four innings, allowing no hits and one walk. Pittsburgh finally broke through with one out on in fifth when Francisco Cervelli hit a triple to right and scored on Colin Moran’s sacrifice fly.
“I expect that from him,” manager Bud Black said. “He’s capable of these types of games. There were a couple of two-out walks that I’m going to talk to him about. He’ll learn not to do that. But overall, I thought his curveball was as good as it’s been all year.”
Carlos Gonzalez, looking like he was trying to save Marquez’s brewing no-hitter, dove for Cervelli’s sinking liner, but missed and the ball rolled into deep right field. The Pirates cut the lead to 5-2 in the sixth on a run-scoring triple to left by Starling Marte but got no closer.