Rusin erases memory of woeful outing

Lefty rebounds from 11-run game to deliver quality start

Rusin erases memory of woeful outing

PITTSBURGH -- Left-hander Chris Rusin pitches for the Rockies, which means learning to forget some Coors Field outings that can be strange, awful or both. Rusin passed that test Saturday night at PNC Park, although he absorbed a 4-3 loss to the Pirates.

Rusin gave up 11 runs and a club-record eight doubles in his previous start, when he lasted two innings and eight batters into the third before departing a loss against the Mets on Aug. 22. After giving up an Aramis Ramirez three-run homer in the first inning Saturday, Rusin (4-7) held the Pirates to no further scoring while throwing six innings.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hundley's HR not enough spark in Pittsburgh

Hundley's HR not enough spark in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH -- Aramis Ramirez's three-run, first-inning homer and J.A. Happ's solid 5 2/3 innings were all the Pirates needed in a 4-3 victory Saturday night at PNC Park. The second-place Pirates kept pace in the National League Central, remaining 3 1/2 games behind the Cardinals.

Ramirez hit his 13th homer of the season, and second since arriving in a trade with the Brewers, after Josh Harrison and Andrew McCutchen singled with one out. Those were three of the five hits, and all of the runs, Pittsburgh managed against Rockies lefty Chris Rusin (4-7). But they were enough for the Pirates -- leading the NL Wild Card race -- to win their seventh in the last eight games and 10th in the last 12.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kendrick on track for Tuesday return from DL

Righty tabbed for Rockies' doubleheader with D-backs

Kendrick on track for Tuesday return from DL

PITTSBURGH -- Feeling healthy after throwing all his pitches in a 30-pitch side session, Rockies right-hander Kyle Kendrick will return to the rotation to start one of the doubleheader games Tuesday against the D-backs. Manager Walt Weiss said he is not sure which game.

Kendrick (4-12, 6.43 ERA in 21 starts) is recovering from right shoulder inflammation that bothered him for a couple of months before he finally went on the disabled list in early August. Kendrick hopes for a healthy and more productive finish.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blackmon pacing himself in 2nd full season

Rockies center fielder working to avoid post-break dip

Blackmon pacing himself in 2nd full season

PITTSBURGH -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon's body is tired, but he has continued to produce because his brain is operating efficiently.

Last year, Blackmon broke out to an All-Star campaign on the strength of a .305 batting average and .479 slugging percentage in 93 first-half games, 81 of them starts. But he dropped to .264 with .384 slugging in 61 games, 54 starts, after the break.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rox look to slow Pirates behind De La Rosa

Rox look to slow Pirates behind De La Rosa

Right-hander Charlie Morton hasn't tired of the Pirates spending the summer building one of the Majors' best records, while chasing the National League Central-leading Cardinals and trying to keep the Cubs off their heels.

Morton (8-5, 4.20 ERA), who will start opposite Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa in Sunday's finale of a three-game series, is reveling in the chase.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reyes shows pop, tips cap to Bucs' Polanco

Rockies shortstop homers before getting cut down at plate

Reyes shows pop, tips cap to Bucs' Polanco

PITTSBURGH -- The Rockies' Jose Reyes knew the risk of challenging Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco's strong left arm and didn't regret taking it.

Polanco caught Nolan Arenado's shallow fly ball and threw out Reyes at the plate in the eighth inning of a tie game. The Pirates would win it, 5-3, with two runs in the bottom of the frame.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Morneau begins rehab action in Minors

NL's batting champ last year limited to 27 games in 2015

Morneau begins rehab action in Minors

PITTSBURGH -- Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau is making one last attempt to make sure 2015 isn't a lost season. Unable to play in the Majors since May because of concussion symptoms and a cervical neck strain, Morneau underwent months of rehab, and on Friday, he finally began an injury rehab assignment at Double-A New Britain.

Morneau, 34, won the National League batting crown last year but has been limited to 27 games in 2015 (.290, three homers, nine RBIs). With Morneau near the end of a two-year contract that has a $9 million mutual option for 2016 (or a $750,000 buyout), Ben Paulsen and Kyle Parker appear to be a logical first-base platoon, but manager Walt Weiss said there is room for Morneau if he can make it back. Parker is playing left field while Corey Dickerson battles a broken rib.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies call up Gurka, adding lefty to bullpen

Southpaw impressed at Triple-A level; Kahnle sent down

Rockies call up Gurka, adding lefty to bullpen

PITTSBURGH -- Left-handed pitcher Jason Gurka, selected to the Majors by the Rockies on Friday, saw his career stagnate in the Orioles system -- a two-year stay at high Class A, the better part of three years at Double-A. But he never looked at it that way.

"To be honest, I was happy I was playing a game for a job," said Gurka, a 15th-round Orioles pick in 2008 out of Angelina College (Texas). "I loved every day of it. I never looked up. I knew opportunity would happen, and I got one with the Rockies.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reyes, CarGo power up in loss to Pirates

Reyes, CarGo power up in loss to Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- Not long ago, Josh Harrison rejoined the Pirates' lineup. On Friday night, he rejoined the team's fun by delivering a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning of a 5-3 victory over the Rockies at PNC Park in front of 32,607.

After missing 38 games with a right thumb injury and going 2-for-13 in his first six games back, Harrison stepped up as a pinch-hitter with two on and two outs to single off Scott Oberg (3-3), breaking a 3-3 tie as the National League Wild Card-leading Pirates won for the ninth time in 11 games and 13th in the last 16. Gregory Polanco, who earlier made two key throws, singled in another eighth-inning run to complete a 3-for-5, two-run night.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rehabbing Lyles itching to return to normal routine

Out since late May, Rockies pitcher describes monotony of post-surgery activities

Rehabbing Lyles itching to return to normal routine

DENVER -- Jordan Lyles isn't shy about it. A season on the sidelines isn't a glamorous life.

"It [stinks]," said Lyles, who underwent season-ending toe surgery on June 10 and hasn't pitched since May 31. "It's not been fun."

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Dargan Southard is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Barnes burning: Outfielder heats up for Rox

'Grinder' breaks out vs. Braves, finishes triple shy of cycle

Barnes burning: Outfielder heats up for Rox

ATLANTA -- Life has not been easy for Rockies outfielder Brandon Barnes during the season's second half. The 29-year-old, in his third full Major League season, came into Wednesday hitting .251, due to a .190 average since the break and .111 during August. He knew of only one way to turn things around -- grind.

"I've been working my butt off to just get out there and keep grinding it out," said Barnes, after leading the Rockies to a 6-3 victory over Atlanta. "My big saying is, 'Grind it out and good things will happen.'"

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Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies storm back in 7th to stun Braves

Rockies storm back in 7th to stun Braves

ATLANTA -- Jose Reyes' two-run triple capped a four-run seventh inning that extended Shelby Miller's winless streak to 18 starts and propelled the Rockies to a 6-3 win over the Braves on Wednesday night at Turner Field.

Miller had retired 14 consecutive batters and held a 3-0 lead before he surrendered five hits, including three extra-base hits, during Colorado's decisive seventh. Ben Paulsen and Brandon Barnes recorded doubles ahead of Reyes' triple off Miller, whose winless streak now stands as the longest ever by an Atlanta pitcher in one season.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

All-Star LeMahieu keeps on raking for Rox

All-Star LeMahieu keeps on raking for Rox

ATLANTA -- If DJ LeMahieu has been one thing this season -- and for the Colorado Rockies, their All-Star second baseman has been just about everything they've asked and more -- he's been steady.

He hits at home. He hits on the road. He hits lefties and righties.

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John Donovan is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies notch two huge outs against Freeman

Rockies notch two huge outs against Freeman

ATLANTA -- The Colorado Rockies got what they needed on Tuesday -- an end to their four-game losing streak -- beating both the Atlanta Braves and one of the game's most-feared hitters to do it.

Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis tossed five gutsy innings, and five relievers chipped in to help flummox the Braves. The 5-1 win hinged on two huge at-bats, both against Braves slugger Freddie Freeman.

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John Donovan is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

Scouting profile: Jon Gray

Scouting profile: Jon Gray

Background
A good athlete, right-hander Jon Gray played baseball, basketball and football at Chandler (Okla.) High School. He then went on to pitch at Eastern Oklahoma State College and had an outstanding tenure at the University of Oklahoma, where he was a member of the All Big-12 Team.

The Rockies took Gray with the third overall pick in the 2012 Draft. After having spent parts of two seasons and the beginning of this year in Colorado's Minor League system, he is now part of the Rockies' starting rotation.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LeMahieu helps Rox even series vs. Braves

LeMahieu helps Rox even series vs. Braves

ATLANTA -- DJ LeMahieu highlighted his three-hit night with a two-run fourth-inning single that capitalized on one of the three errors third baseman Adonis Garcia committed as the Rockies claimed a 5-1 win over the Braves on Tuesday night at Turner Field.

Garcia's first two errors led to each of the four unearned runs charged to Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, who needed 94 pitches to complete five innings. Foltynewicz hit Matt McBride with a pitch and issued a four-pitch walk to Rockies starter Chad Bettis to load the bases before LeMahieu delivered his two-run single.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. John Donovan is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rox nearly turn gifts into game-changing rally

Braves nab Blackmon at home to end 8th-inning threat

Rox nearly turn gifts into game-changing rally

ATLANTA -- When you're going like the Rockies are going this season, you press any advantage you might have. And so, in the eighth inning of a close game Monday night against the Braves, third-base coach Stu Cole didn't hesitate to wave a runner home. Unfortunately for Colorado, when you're going like the Rockies are going ... well, you know how that ended up.

The Rockies, on the road after a homestand they'd rather forget, dropped their fourth straight game Monday night, a 5-3 loss to the Braves that could have turned out the other way with just a smidgen of luck.

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John Donovan is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies discuss walk-up music, 'My Little Pony'

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Rockies discuss walk-up music, 'My Little Pony'

When the Rockies were in town to face the Mets in early August, Carlos Gonzalez, DJ LeMahieu and Ben Paulsen stopped by MLB Network to talk about the greatest issues facing our society today.

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Rockies quieted after loud start in Atlanta

Rockies quieted after loud start in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- Julio Teheran went 7 1/3 strong innings and Atlanta's beleaguered bullpen held on as the Braves beat the Rockies, 5-3, on Monday night at Turner Field, snapping a seven-game losing streak.

Braves left fielder Jonny Gomes crushed a first-inning two-run homer and his defensive replacement, Michael Bourn, made a critical outfield assist in the eighth to cut down a Colorado run. The Braves won for only the third time in their last 14 games.

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Jon Cooper and John Donovan are contributors to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hale sent to Triple-A, clearing spot for Bettis

Hale sent to Triple-A, clearing spot for Bettis

ATLANTA -- The Rockies announced Monday that they optioned right-hander David Hale to Triple-A Albuquerque, one day after he uncorked a club-record four wild pitches in a 5-1 loss to the New York Mets in Denver.

Hale, who was 3-5 with a 6.15 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) with Colorado, struck out nine and retired the last 10 hitters he faced Sunday. But his outing was ruined by back-to-back wild pitches in the second, both of which scored runs.

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John Donovan is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Diaz, Castro promoted from Triple-A

Betancourt designated for assignment; Miller optioned to Albuquerque

Diaz, Castro promoted from Triple-A

DENVER -- With Colorado desperately needing relief for its often-used and ineffective bullpen, the Rockies called up two fresh faces on Sunday.

Right-handers Simon Castro and Jairo Diaz were promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque before Colorado's series finale with the Mets. Veteran reliever Rafael Betancourt was designated for assignment and Justin Miller was optioned down to Albuquerque as the corresponding moves.

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Dargan Southard is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies unable to solve Mets in finale defeat

Rockies unable to solve Mets in finale defeat

DENVER -- Subbing for Matt Harvey, Logan Verrett held the Rockies to one run and four hits in eight innings in his first Major League start, as the National League East-leading Mets won, 5-1, at Coors Field on Sunday. By taking advantage of a memorably scattershot performance by Rockies starter David Hale, New York completed a three-game sweep and maintained a five-game lead over the Nationals.

The lone run off Verrett, who has made 12 total appearances and has given up one run in the last 18 2/3 innings, was Carlos Gonzalez's home run to dead center to lead off the fourth, which Statcast™ projected to land 459 feet away.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hale features strikeout stuff in historically wild start

Righty fans nine, throws Rockies record four wild pitches, two of which plate runs

Hale features strikeout stuff in historically wild start

DENVER -- A pinch of wildness, a dash of effectiveness and a helping of weirdness was the recipe for David Hale's start on Sunday afternoon.

In Colorado's 5-1 loss to the Mets at Coors Field, Hale uncorked a Rockies single-game-high four wild pitches, tied a career high with nine strikeouts and retired the final 10 hitters he faced. In total, Hale yielded six hits and five runs (four earned) over six innings.

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Dargan Southard is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Veteran reliever Betancourt DFA'd by Rockies

Veteran reliever Betancourt DFA'd by Rockies

DENVER -- Rafael Betancourt, one of the most accomplished relievers in Rockies history, saw his tenure and more than likely his 12-season Major League career end when the club designated him for assignment Sunday morning.

Betancourt, 40, overcame missing last season because of Tommy John surgery to make the team out of Spring Training. He started solidly before struggling, posting a 2-4 record with one save and a 6.18 ERA in 45 appearances. He also leaves fifth on the club's list in saves with 58, and sixth in appearances with 309 after arriving from the Indians to help propel the Rockies to their last playoff appearance, in 2009.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Parker rounding into form after 4-RBI game

Parker rounding into form after 4-RBI game

DENVER -- Rockies rookie outfielder Kyle Parker vows not to be distracted by his volatile early-career batting average, which is displayed big as life on the scoreboard each at-bat.

Parker ignored the .233 at the start of Saturday's game. After a big night -- a three-run triple and an RBI double in a 14-9 loss to the Mets at Coors -- he'll make himself do the same when the board flashes .250 next time he's batting.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rusin, Rockies lose another slugfest to Mets

Rusin, Rockies lose another slugfest to Mets

DENVER -- On Star Wars Night at Coors Field, the National League East-leading Mets knocked Rockies starting pitcher Chris Rusin into the Twilight Zone en route to a 14-9 victory on Saturday night. New York also beat Colorado by a 14-9 score on Friday night.

"This is how a lot of teams win pennants," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "They beat teams you're supposed to beat."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.