DENVER (AP) -- Pitching at Coors Field was no big deal to Ian
"It doesn't matter about what kind of ballpark or if the ball
flies. I pitch the same. I think the same," Snell said.
Snell (6-3) worked both sides of the plate brilliantly with his
96 mph fastball, deceptive changeup and sharp slider. He allowed
two earned runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings for the Pirates, who
improved the majors' worst road record to 5-22 and extended the
Rockies' losing streak to a season-high six games.
Colorado, which was swept by Florida over the weekend, has been
outscored 26-7 in its four consecutive losses at Coors Field to the
two worst teams in the National League, during which it's never had
Snell struck out six in the first three innings, when he threw
29 of 35 pitches for strikes.
"I know he's pitched some good games, but up to this point in
the season, I don't know if he's pitched a better one that this
one," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said.
Just 28 of his 94 pitches missed the strike zone and Snell
walked just one of the 25 batters he faced.
"I always have great command," Snell said. "It doesn't matter
if it is here or anywhere."
Pittsburgh's confident 24-year-old kept confusing Colorado's
lineup inning after impressive inning.
"I kept them off balance. I could tell a lot of them were late
on fastballs. They were fouling them off. Once you see that it sets
them up for other pitches," Snell said. "I set them up pretty
good where if they chased one breaking ball, they were going to
chase another one."
Aaron Cook (5-6) allowed 10 hits and five runs in six-plus
"One of those games, wash it off and do better next time,"
Colorado pulled to 5-2 on pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs'
run-scoring single in the bottom half of the seventh, but the
Rockies went 1-for-8 the rest of the way. Mike Gonzalez pitched the
ninth for his eighth save in eight chances.
The Rockies have dropped 11 of 13, the primary culprit being an
inability to connect in the clutch, which has left the pitching
staff with hardly any wiggle room. Colorado has gone 2-for-36 with
runners in scoring position during the six-game skid.
"We don't point fingers," said Rockies slugger Todd Helton,
who had his first multihit game since May 16. "We haven't had good
at-bats like we're capable of doing. It's frustrating. We're just
not being consistent at the plate. It happens and we're still a
good team. We need to score more runs. Pitching's still there."
Omar Quintanilla, who struck out three times against Snell and
grounded into a double play to kill a seventh-inning rally, got the
start at second base for the Rockies one day after his call-up from
Triple-A Colorado Springs and was tested right away.
He missed a diving stab at Jason Bay's first-inning bloop single
that landed in the grass in shallow right field to drive in a run.
Helton said the Rockies are confident they'll recover from their
offensive funk before this develops into a summer-long swoon.
"Each guy's different," Helton said. "Some guys who struggle
(have) to swing their way out of it and other guys have got to slow
down and work the count a little bit."
Snell's previous career high in strikeouts was nine, set
May 3 against the New York Mets. ... The Pirates placed C Ryan
Doumit on the 15-day DL with a torn left hamstring that could
sideline him up for to two months. They recalled utility player
Yurendell DeCaster from Triple-A Indianapolis. ... Helton went