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Bucs have won 13 of last 18 games vs. Rockies

DENVER (AP) -- When pressed, Lloyd McClendon had a hard time
pinpointing a down period in Jose Castillo's rookie season.

"I remember only one time when Jose's struggled this year,"
the Pittsburgh Pirates manager said about Castillo. "It was back
in July and he's been as solid as anyone here ever since."

Castillo had a two-run triple among his three hits, and Jason
Bay had three hits and scored three times to lead the Pittsburgh
Pirates over the Colorado Rockies 11-3 Thursday.

"I was having trouble just before the All-Star break and the
coaches took me aside and didn't find much to correct," said
Castillo, who was 3-for-22 in the six games before the All-Star
Break. "All they asked me for was to concentrate more and depend
on the experience I gained with each game."

He has hit .266 since. Castillo, who had a career-high four hits
Tuesday, drove in three runs and has eight RBI in his last six
games. Bay went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two stolen bases.

"The guy has given us everything and more," McClendon said.
"He makes the plays in the field and runs the bases hard, too."

Ryan Doumit added three hits for the Pirates who have won 13 of
the last 18 meetings with Colorado.

Josh Fogg (6-7) benefited from the Pirates offensive outburst --
17 hits -- to win for only the second time in 13 starts. Fogg, 2-4
over that span, allowed three runs and six hits. He also drove in a
run.

"I'm was more comfortable pitching with the lead," Fogg said.
"I was able to relax and just pitch."

The only real problem he had was when he threw a belt-high
fastball to Todd Helton. Helton hit it out for his 12th home run
for Colorado.

The Pirates roughed up Jeff Francis (11-8) from the outset, with
six runs and six hits including triples by Castillo and Michael
Restovich.

Bay and Brad Eldred began the scoring with RBI singles and
Castillo drove a 3-2 pitch into the gap in left-center for two
runs. Restovich tripled over Larry Bigbie's head in right to score
Castillo. Restovich came home on a ground out.

Francis had won his last three starts and was 8-2 this year at
Coors Field. He lasted 3 1/3 innings, giving up nine runs and 13
hits in his shortest outing.

"Jeff was rushing his delivery and throwing the ball up in the
strike zone," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "When he does
that he's not going to get anybody out."

The Pirates made it 8-0 with two runs in the third. Fogg drove
in a run when Helton booted his groundball with the bases loaded in
the third and Freddy Sanchez added a sacrifice fly.

Pittsburgh chased Francis with one out in the fourth. Bay drew a
leadoff walk and scored on Castillo's single to left.

The Rockies got a run in their half of the fourth on Bigbie's
leadoff triple to center and a one-out single by J.D. Closser.
Helton homered over the scoreboard in right field with Cory
Sullivan aboard in the fifth inning to make it 9-3.

Doumit had an RBI single in the sixth off Sunny Kim. Eldred hit
a solo home run in the eighth inning off Marcos Carvajal.

"This is the kind of game I needed," Doumit said. "With a big
lead I saw more pitches and I hit them."

Game notes
The Pirates had been 0-8-2 in their previous 10 road
series. ... Kip Wells will make his scheduled start Saturday in
Houston. ... Pittsburgh placed outfielder Jody Gerut on the DL
before the game. ... Bay has reached base in 26-straight games and
is 13-for-13 on stolen base attempts. ... Pittsburgh won the season
series (7-3). ... Francis has given up 15 runs over his last two
starts.