Stewart comes through on road again

Stewart comes through on road again

PITTSBURGH -- Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart was in as good a mood as could be expected Sunday morning, after seeing his big moment erased Saturday night.

Stewart's game-tying, three-run homer in the ninth inning was rendered trivial by Pedro Alvarez's three-run shot in the 10th to give the Pirates an 8-7 victory at PNC Park.

"It was one of the better performances we've had on the road," Stewart said. "It's hard to take positives from a loss when you continue to struggle with something, like on the road. But you don't want to be thinking negative all the time.

"It seems all the little things go against us on the road. But it's not like we're jinxed or anything. It's baseball, and it's crazy."

Stewart's home-road splits are part of the season's craziness. Entering Sunday afternoon's finale of four games with the Pirates, the Rockies hit .233 on the road and .301 at home, with more doubles (99-79), triples (23-11) and home runs (71-50) at Coors Field.

Yet, Stewart has twice as many doubles on the road (8-4), and three times as many road homers (12-4).

"I never think about it, because I don't want to try to hit home runs at home," said Stewart, who does hit for a higher average at home [.266-.253].

Manager Jim Tracy said Saturday's game, in which Stewart also doubled and had a productive groundout, could be a sign that Stewart is ready for a period of consistent production. That's been elusive for Stewart this season.

"Maybe we're at the makings of getting to where maybe this is the guy that helps to pick this club up and carry it some offensively," Tracy said. 'It's unfair to walk out here every day and feel if [Carlos] Gonzalez and [Troy] Tulowitzki don't do it, we have no chance to win. You need help from other places.

"To see Todd Helton take the swing he took in the 10th inning [for a two-run homer and a brief lead], to see Ian Stewart take the swing he took in the ninth inning, to see a couple of at-bats Brad Hawpe took, then add those other couple of names in there, it starts to lengthen you out.

"Go back to when we were in the midst of that 30-10 roll we were on last year, and who was in the middle of it? You go through St. Louis and Milwaukee, and Ian Stewart basically did that offensive damage."