DENVER (AP) - Matt Joyce hit a three-run homer, Jeff Locke threw six scoreless innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Colorado Rockies 6-1 on Monday night in a game that was briefly delayed by rain.
Locke (1-2) allowed five hits as he bounced back from a clunker in his last outing. He struck out a season-high eight, including five on called third strikes.
That drew the ire of the Rockies, who weren't too pleased with home-plate umpire Lance Barrett's low strike zone. Manager Walt Weiss was ejected after the fourth for arguing and outfielder Ryan Raburn followed in the six.
Chad Bettis (2-1) had his start moved up a day with Jorge De La Rosa under the weather. Bettis gave up four runs in 6 2/3 innings.
A.J. Schugel picked up his first major league save by pitching 2 1/3 innings.
Joyce broke the game open in the seventh with his three-run homer to left-center off reliever Scott Oberg. That gave the Pirates a 5-0 lead and sent them to their sixth straight win over the Rockies at Coors Field.
Locke cruised through most of this game. His only rough patch was in the fifth when he faced a two-on, one-out jam. He fanned rookie Trevor Story and got Carlos Gonzalez to fly out.
That's quite a contrast to his last start when he allowed eight runs in three innings at San Diego. It looked as if his spot in the rotation just might be in jeopardy.
The game was halted for 30 minutes by a downpour with two outs in the second and a 2-2 count on Bettis with Mark Reynolds at third. On the first pitch after the delay, Bettis bunted the ball foul for a strikeout.
Colorado scored its only run of the game in the seventh on a fielder's choice by Gerardo Parra.
Starling Marte finished the game with a single. The last time Marte was at Coors Field he went 13 for 20 and tied the club record for most hits in a four-game series, a feat accomplished by Pie Traynor in 1928.
Pirates: OF Andrew McCutchen got the day off after playing Sunday in a 13-inning win at Arizona that lasted more than 5 hours. "Somebody brought up he's the only one not to sit a game yet. I said, 'Well, let's do that,'" manager Clint Hurdle explained.
Rockies: OF Charlie Blackmon (turf toe) is scheduled to play seven innings Tuesday and a full game Wednesday for Class A Modesto. If he progresses well, Blackmon could be reinstated from the DL on Friday in Arizona.
Colorado reinstated catcher Nick Hundley (concussion) from the disabled list and optioned struggling right-hander Jordan Lyles to Triple-A Albuquerque. The team also recalled Oberg from Albuquerque and optioned catcher Dustin Garneau to the Isotopes.
Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (1-2) looks for his second win in a row when he faces the Rockies on Tuesday. He went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA a season ago as he finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting.
Rockies: De La Rosa (1-2) is recovered from the stomach flu and will start. He's 1-1 with an 8.44 ERA in two starts at Coors Field this season.
(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
for more features.