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Updated: Sunday, August 10, 2003 3:46 AM EDT
MLB RECAP
Pittsburgh Pirates
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
10 11 1
Colorado Rockies
Team Page | Schedule | Injuries
Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
4 6 1
W D'Amico (7-11)
L Oliver (10-7)
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PITTSBURGH 10, COLORADO 4
 

DENVER (Ticker) -- After allowing double figures in runs in four of their previous eight games, the Pittsburgh Pirates decided to return the favor.

Brian Giles belted one of Pittsburgh's three home runs and Jeff D'Amico avenged his worst start of the season as the Pirates posted a 10-4 triumph over the Colorado Rockies .

In three of their last four meetings with Colorado, the Pirates have been tagged for 11, 16 and 13 runs. But in this one, Pittsburgh jumped on Rockies starter Darren Oliver to deny the lefthander his fourth consecutive victory.

Reggie Sanders highlighted a four-run fourth inning with a two-run blast and Giles added a two-run shot in a five-run sixth, which gave Pittsburgh a 9-3 cushion. Giles' homer was his 163rd as a Pirate, tying Frank Thomas for sixth place on the club's all-time list.

"I thought our guys came in here a little more determined," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We've been playing good baseball. It was good for them to bounce back tonight and play a solid ballgame."

D'Amico (7-11), who yielded eight runs to Colorado on Sunday, fared better in this one. The righthander gave up four runs - three earned - and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.

"My command was a little better, I was able to keep the ball down at times," D'Amico said. "Last Sunday was one of those starts where it seemed like if it was a strike, it was getting absolutely crushed. I was able to throw the ball pretty well in on some guys."

While helping his own cause by drawing a bases-loaded walk in the sixth, D'Amico walked two and struck out five.

"I felt good the whole time out there," D'Amico said. "I was able to stay away from big innings and make some good pitches to get out of some jams."

"He commanded the fastball down in the zone," McClendon said. "He had good bite on the breaking ball, he threw some good changeups. Last week, he just elevated the ball and missed his spots. He pitched a lot better today."

Oliver (10-7) was handed his first home loss in 10 appearances this season. The lefthander, who had been 5-0 at Coors Field, surrendered nine runs - eight earned - and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"I was being aggressive," Oliver said. "There were some balls out over the plate. Those are mistakes, and guys like Giles and Reggie can hurt you. ... You've got to keep the ball down, especially in this park."

"He didn't have good command within the strike zone," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "He didn't get the ball where he wanted to in the strike zone. His ball was out over the plate."

Rookie Carlos Rivera added his first major league homer for the Pirates, who had dropped four of their previous five games.

"I wasn't waiting, but it happened, so I'm very happy," Rivera said. "I'll just keep swinging and take advantage of any opportunity they give me. I had a good at-bat and hit the ball good. I was excited."

Winners of three straight, the Rockies jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Todd Helton in the first and an RBI groundout by Oliver in the second.

But Pittsburgh rallied for four runs in the fourth to move ahead. Tike Redman opened the inning with a double and scored on Jason Kendall 's two-base hit. After a groundout by Giles, Sanders ripped an 0-1 pitch over the left field fence for a 3-2 advantage.

"I'm just basically trying to slow the game down," Sanders said. "A lot of times, you try to create situations. When things are going well, you slow everything down, you're not too aggressive and you let the pitcher come to you."

Craig Wilson tripled to deep left-center and former Rockie Jose Hernandez followed with a run-scoring single.

Jay Payton hit a one-out homer in the bottom of the frame to draw Colorado within a run, but Giles began the five-run, sixth-inning outburst with his 14th homer for a 6-3 bulge.

Sanders doubled and scored on a single by Hernandez one out later. After a walk to Jack Wilson , Steve Reed replaced Oliver and got Jeff Reboulet to hit a grounder to third. But rookie Garrett Atkins committed a throwing error, allowing the bases to become loaded.

Reed forced in two runs with a walk and a hit batsman around a strikeout, giving Pittsburgh a commanding 9-3 lead.

Rivera and Charles Johnson traded solo homers in their halves of the seventh inning to cap the scoring.


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