Ohlendorf, McCutchen help Pirates end eight-game skid

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies hoped to build on their successful series against the Chicago Cubs. Instead, the NL Wild Card leaders came out flat against the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ross Ohlendorf pitched solidly into the seventh inning, Andrew McCutchen stole three bases and scored three runs and the Pirates beat Colorado 7-3 on Tuesday night to end an eight-game losing streak.

The Rockies took three of four games from the Cubs, including consecutive 11-5 victories to end the series, but they couldn't build on that momentum against the Pirates. They walked nine batters and committed three errors in one of their sloppiest games of the season.

"For whatever reason there was no energy out there today, and if we're going to make the playoffs we better wake up and start playing again," second baseman Clint Barmes said.

Troy Tulowitzki, who had five hits, seven RBIs and hit for the cycle Monday night, gave the team a jolt when he homered in his first at-bat Tuesday, and Carlos Gonzalez also homered for the Rockies.

Todd Helton tripled and singled to extend his hitting streak to 16 games.

Other than that, Ohldendorf (10-8) kept them at bay. The big right-hander gave up three runs on six hits, walked two and struck out three in six-plus innings.

"This was the best my fastball has been all year," he said. "I had good velocity and was still able to locate it well."

Jhoulys Chacin, making the first major league start, struggled with his command. Chacin (0-1) gave up one hit but allowed five runs and walked six in 2 2/3 innings.

"He was hyped up a little too much, he wanted to impress," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "That's completely understandable."

Chacin's control issues and sloppy fielding by Colorado allowed the Pirates to take the early lead. In the second inning, Ryan Doumit doubled, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch that rolled only a few feet from home plate.

After Tulowitzki's 22nd homer tied it 1-all in the bottom of the second, the Pirates pulled away in the third. McCutchen and Garrett Jones walked, and McCutchen scored on catcher Chris Iannetta's throwing error on a double steal. After Steve Pearce walked to put runners on the corners, Josh Fogg relieved Chacin and gave up a two-run triple to Delwyn Young.

"We took advantage of some things with our aggressiveness," Pirates manager John Russell said. "We've battled really hard only to lose some games late."

Young scored on Ronny Cedeno's single to center to make it 5-1.

In the sixth, McCutchen led off with a walk, stole second and scored on Lastings Milledge's double to right to make it 6-1.

McCutchen's three steals were a career high, and the Pirates stole a season-high five bases.

"I had more opportunities to run tonight," he said. "You have that chance when you are on base a lot. I was on base and got good jumps."

The Rockies cut the lead to 6-3 on Gonzalez's third home run of the season in the sixth and Seth Smith's RBI double in the seventh, but the Pirates got one back in the eighth when McCutchen scored on Jones' one-out double.

"It's the big leagues. It doesn't matter who we play, on any given day anything can happen," Barmes said. "I'm not going to take anything away from the Pirates, they played well and took advantage."

Game notes
Helton, who has five consecutive multihit games, is one game shy of tying the longest hitting streak of his career, set June 15-July 2, 2003. ... Colorado's three errors ties a season high. ... An MRI on Rockies OF Dexter Fowler's left knee Tuesday revealed he has a bruise and did not damage the joint. Fowler left Monday's game after running into the center field wall in the ninth inning. Tracy said he should return to the lineup in a few days. ... Rockies LHP Jeff Francis, who had surgery in spring training to repair a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder, threw 15 pitches off the mound Tuesday.