video thumbnail

SD@COL: Nicasio earns first win since neck injury

The Pirates and Rockies will play two on Wednesday afternoon, and in doing so, they'll be trailblazing a small bit of history.

For the first time since the start of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which allows a one-day-only roster expansion for certain doubleheaders, 26-man rosters will be in place for Wednesday's twin bill.

The two prior doubleheaders this season were played on days immediately following the postponed game, meaning rosters remained at 25. That rule was put in place to guard against the team with a closer Minor League affiliate, usually the home team, gaining an unfair advantage.

"We have an opportunity to take advantage of a 26th player, and I'm sure we'll do that," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It's a good idea.

The Rockies will call up righty reliever Zach Putnam from Triple-A Colorado Springs for Wednesday's games. The Pirates haven't made any announcement yet, but it will most likely be lefty Daniel Moskos.

The first game on Wednesday matches up hard-throwing Rockies righty Juan Nicasio and Pittsburgh's James McDonald, who is 0-1 with a 3.45 ERA this season. Jhoulys Chacin faces Charlie Morton in the Game 2, a matchup of two pitchers in search of their first victories.

The Pirates came from behind twice to take the series opener on Tuesday with a 5-4 win at PNC Park. These days, five runs seems like an offensive outburst for the Pirates, who through 16 games have scored just 35 runs, by far the fewest in the Majors.

"We've got to step up our overall play, put a better package on the field," Hurdle said before Tuesday's game. "I can't ever be pleased managing a team that is 6-9 (now 7-9)."

Fortunately for the two clubs, Wednesday's doubleheader will not affect the pitching rotations of either team because of an off-day for both on Thursday. Otherwise, they'd be scrambling to find a starter for Sunday, possibly having to use a starter on three days' rest.

Rockies: De La Rosa set for extended spring game
Rockies lefty Jorge De La Rosa will pitch in his first extended spring game on Friday, completing his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

De La Rosa was 5-2 with a 3.51 ERA last season before suffering the elbow injury. A Minor League outing would be De La Rosa's next step.

• Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has traditionally destroyed Pirates pitching as he owns a .383 lifetime batting average against the Bucs with six homers and 18 RBIs.

• The Rockies are hitting .325 with runners in scoring position this season.

Pirates: Five's the limit
The Pirates have played their first 16 games this year without either scoring or allowing more than five runs in a game, tying their own NL mark from 1965.

With another such game Wednesday, the Pirates would tie the Major League record set by the 1943 Tigers.

• With a leadoff double in the bottom of the first inning on Tuesday, Pirates left fielder Alex Presley extended his career-high hitting streak to eight games. He has hit safely in 13 of his 14 starts in left field this season.

• Pirates pitchers have only retired the side 1-2-3 in the first inning one time this season, when Kevin Correia did so against San Francisco on April 15.

Worth noting

• In its first 12 seasons of existence, PNC Park has seen 33 games postponed -- 30 by weather and three because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. April has seen by far the most of those postponements with 11.

• The Pirates and Rockies have only ever played in one doubleheader against each other -- a May 2004 twin bill at Coors Field that the clubs split.

MLB.com Comments