Rockies 5, Pirates 4

Dexter Fowler’s strong defense and confident swing sent the

Colorado Rockies to a rain-soaked victory.

Fowler made a leaping catch early in the game and hit a

sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning to help Colorado

overcome a tying, three-run homer by Pedro Alvarez in a 5-4 win

over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.

Fowler extended his tear at the plate with his 14th hit in seven

games, but it was an out that won it for Colorado.

Wilin Rosario led off the ninth with a single against reliever

Jason Grilli (1-3) and moved to third on a one-out single by

pinch-hitter Jason Giambi. Fowler hit a deep fly to Andrew

McCutchen in center field and Rosario slid home ahead of the

throw.

”I knew he was going to throw me a lot of sliders, but I was

waiting on a fastball and he threw me one,” Fowler said. ”We knew

we were going to put something together.”

The Rockies were ready to celebrate an easier win an hour

earlier when weather and Alvarez disrupted that plan.

Intermittent rain, heavy at times, fell throughout the night and

finally prompted a 53-minute rain delay with one out in the top of

the ninth and Colorado leading 4-1. McCutchen and Neil Walker

singled off closer Rafael Betancourt, and with Alvarez at the plate

the tarp was brought out.

”It’s just tough because you’ve got to sit down for so long and

resume play like nothing happened,” Alvarez said. ”You’ve got the

adrenaline going before the rain delay and you just get kind of

stagnant.”

After play resumed, Alvarez hit reliever Rex Brother’s first

pitch, a 98 mph fastball, into the left-field seats to tie the

score at 4.

”A guy like that, you’ve got to try not to do too much and try

to work with what he gives you,” Alvarez said after his 18th home

run. ”I was just trying to go up there and try to get on

base.”

Brothers (5-2) got the win despite serving up the tying

homer.

”I threw my best pitch and he put a swing on it,” Brothers

said. ”The main thing was we got out of that inning and won it in

the bottom.”

Walker had three hits and McCutchen added two for the Pirates,

who have lost three of four.

”For the fans that stuck around, that was a pretty exciting

last 20 minutes,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ”I was very

happy with the battle back. You never know what’s going to

happen.”

Earlier in the game, Fowler used his glove to save the Rockies

when he ran down Rod Barajas’ deep fly at the wall in center to end

the second inning.

”He told me he’s glad he’s not playing in the NL West anymore

so I can’t rob him,” Fowler said. ”That’s a good feeling. It’s

always a good feeling to help the team.”

The Rockies were held in check by Pittsburgh starter Jeff

Karstens until they broke through in the fifth. Tyler Colvin led

off with walk, Rosario singled him to third and Josh Rutledge drove

in Colvin with another single.

Eric Young Jr., batting for starter Jeff Francis, drove a

two-run double off the scoreboard in right field to make it 3-1.

Young scored on Marco Scutaro’s single.

Francis allowed one run and six hits, struck out one and didn’t

walk a batter in five innings.

Karstens was cruising before the fifth, retiring seven straight

and allowing just three baserunners. He also contributed at the

plate in the fifth.

With one out and Alvarez on first, Clint Barmes singled to left

and Karstens followed with a grounder that bounced near the plate

and over first baseman Michael Cuddyer for an RBI single to make it

1-0.

”I was trying to see the ball deep and hit it the other way,”

Karstens said. ”I got lucky. I was thinking, I hope he can’t

jump.”

It was Karstens’ first RBI this season and the third of his

career.

The right-hander allowed four runs and six hits, struck out four

and walked two in seven innings.

NOTES: The Rockies said INF Chris Nelson was admitted to a

hospital to undergo tests for an irregular heartbeat and will

remain hospitalized overnight. … The Pirates activated outfielder

Alex Presley from the seven-day concussion disabled list and

optioned first baseman Matt Hague to Triple-A Indianapolis. …

Rockies RHP Juan Nicasio had surgery on his left knee and will

likely miss the rest of the season. … Walker extended his hitting

streak to 16 games. … The Pirates will send LHP Erik Bedard

(4-10) to the mound against Rockies LHP Christian Friedrich (5-6)

on Tuesday.