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
"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
The Pirates roughed up Jeff Francis (11-8) from the outset, with
six runs and six hits including triples by Castillo and Michael
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.
"This is the kind of game I needed," Doumit said. "With a big
lead I saw more pitches and I hit them."
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
Brewers beat White Sox 7-1; La Russa, Anderson ejected
— Tyrone Taylor hit a grand slam to cap the Milwaukee Brewers’ six-run outburst in the seventh inning of a 7-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
Angels' defensive mishap hands Twins the lead
A base hit to left field turns into a defensive blunder that gives the Twins two runs and a 5-4 win over the Angels.
Farmer sparks Reds comeback for 6-5 win over Cardinals
— Tyler Stephenson drove in Kyle Farmer with a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning, rallying the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.
Cruz HR in Rays debut, Tampa Bay beats Cleveland 10th in row
— Nelson Cruz homered in his Tampa Bay debut and Joey Wendle hit a go-ahead single in a six-run ninth inning as the Rays beat the Cleveland Indians 10-5 Friday night.
Corey Kluber takes step in rehab, throws light mound session for New York Yankees
Corey Kluber threw 25 pitches Friday in his first mound session since being placed on the 60-day injured list, and expressed confidence he will return from his shoulder injury this season.
O'Hearn blasts three-run homer for Royals
Ryan O'Hearn crushes a three-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Royals a lead vs. the Tigers.