DENVER (Ticker) -- The
may pin this loss on home plate umpire Brian Onora.
After an apparent missed call by Onora denied the Rockies of the tying run in the seventh inning, the
tacked on two runs in the ninth inning and held on for a 5-3 victory in the rubber game of this three-game series.
The Pirates had taken a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning when former Rockie
singled, stole second and scored on a throwing error by shortstop
The Rockies thought they tied the game in the bottom of the inning. With
on first base and two outs, pinch-hitter
belted a double to the gap in left-center. Center fielder
prevented the ball from rolling towards the wall with a sliding stop, quickly got back on his feet and threw to shortstop
While Atkins rounded third and headed home, Wilson fired to catcher
. But Atkins got around Cota, eluded a tag by the catcher with a fadeaway slide and appeared to slap the plate with his left hand.
However, Onora did not call him out or safe, indicating that Atkins missed the plate with his swipe. Cota then raced to tag Atkins, who raised his arms in disgust.
"I knew I got the plate, my whole hand was on the plate," Atkins said. "I didn't hear anything (from the umpire) and when he (Cota) came towards me and tagged me, I was like, 'What?' I told him I know I touched the plate. Just one of those things I guess."
After the Pirates batted in the eighth inning, Rockies manager
came out to argue with Onora and was ejected. Replays indicated that Atkins had indeed touched the plate with his left hand.
Hurdle probably waited to see a replay before he went after Onora.
"It was presented to me as there was no doubt his hand touched the plate," Hurdle said. "I'm not going to go out there if he got the call right. If the play is reviewed by anybody who needs to review it, they will see he touched the plate."
Cota credited Redman for making the play at the plate possible with his sliding stop in the left center gap.
"That was the key to the play," Cota said. "When I saw him dive for the ball and give it to Jack, I think it was great. Those little things really pump you up, seeing someone hustle all the way to the gap and cutting the ball off so we could have a play at the plate. I think that was the key play of the game."
Pittsburgh added to its lead in the ninth when Redman tripled home a run and scored on a suicide squeeze by Wilson.
hit a two-out solo home run off
in the ninth inning. Lincoln worked the eighth and ninth for his fifth save.
(1-0), who had his contract purchased from Class AAA Nashville earlier Sunday, pitched six innings and allowed two runs and seven hits to earn the win.
"He was outstanding, he was down in the zone, he threw strikes," Pirates manager
said of Figueroa. "He did a great job, more than we could ask for in this situation."
(11-7) yielded just two earned runs in seven innings, but lost his fourth straight decision.
"Bottom line is wins and losses, and that's a loss," Chacon said. "That's the only thing I look at."
Figueroa retired the first five batters he faced before
his his first major league home run in the second inning. Ron Belliard added a solo homer in the third, giving the Rockies a 2-0 lead.
But Figueroa proceeded to pitch three scoreless innings to earn his first win as a starter since April 30, 2002 for Milwaukee against Atlanta.
"I'd take back the two solo home runs in a heartbeat but they were solo home runs," Figueroa said. "Especially in this ballpark, the key is to stay away from the three-run shot or the big inning."
The Pirates tied the game in the fourth inning when Chacon walked
followed with his 10th home run of the season.
"That was a curveball that I just hung," Chacon said. "I was trying to be careful (with Stairs). Not walking him, maybe it's a solo home run. I made one mistake."
The Pirates scored the go-ahead run in the seventh when Hernandez singled, stole second and scored when Uribe fielded a grounder by
in the hole and threw wildly past first.
"It was a tough error, it put them ahead," Hurdle said. "He's made some good plays also, but the ones that get highlighted are those that give up a run."