By Michael Kelly
Dexter Fowler had two hits and two RBIs and the Colorado Rockies used a big sixth inning to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 Saturday night.
The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 48 minutes because of a weather cell that slowly moved into the area before the first pitch. Heavy rain and lightning hit Coors Field after the scheduled 6:10 MDT start.
The Pirates have lost two straight after winning 14 of 19, but stayed four games ahead of St. Louis in the NL Central.
In the seventh inning, leadoff man Starling Marte left the game with a left hand injury and manager Clint Hurdle was ejected.
Things had started to turn for the Pirates in the previous inning.
Pittsburgh was leading 3-1 and A.J. Burnett, who beat the Rockies with a complete game Sunday in Pittsburgh, was cruising when the Rockies put together a two-out rally. Nolan Arenado doubled to score Michael Cuddyer, Jonathan Herrera walked and pinch-hitter Charlie Blackmon doubled to tie the game.
Fowler laced a two-run single to right to give the Rockies a 5-3 lead and end Burnett’s night.
Burnett (5-8) allowed six runs — five earned — on eight hits and struck out eight in 5 2-3 innings.
Tony Watson came on and allowed a single to Corey Dickerson. Fowler scored when he slid into the tag by Pedro Alvarez at third, knocking the ball loose to make it 6-3. Alvarez came up shaking his left hand but stayed in the game.
Marte wasn’t as lucky. He fell to his knees and grabbed his hand in pain after being hit by Josh Outman’s pitch during his at-bat in the top of the seventh. Marte was clearly hurting as the team trainer examined the injured area.
Alex Presley ran for Marte, who was removed from the game with a left-hand contusion.
During the next at-bat, Neil Walker grounded to short and Troy Tulowitzki clearly missed stepping on second base before throwing to first, though the umpires ruled it a double play.
Hurdle came out and argued heatedly that Tulowitzki failed to touch the bag.
He was ejected for excessive arguing by second base umpire Adrian Johnson. It was the fifth ejection of the season for Hurdle, a former Rockies manager who drew some jeers from the crowd as he trudged off the field and into the clubhouse.
Rex Brothers gave up a run in the top of the ninth before striking out Andrew McCutchen and Alvarez to end the game for his ninth save.
The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the second on Herrera’s RBI single. The Pirates tied it in the fourth when McCutchen scored from first on Russell Martin’s double to right-center field.
Colorado starter Juan Nicasio kept Pittsburgh’s offense in check before hitting a rough patch in the sixth. With two outs he allowed Martin’s third hit, and Martin scored on Garrett Jones’ triple to center.
Jose Tabata followed with an infield single up the middle to make it 3-1 and chase Nicasio.
The righty allowed three runs on six hits and struck out four in 5 2-3 innings.
Wilton Lopez (2-4) got the final out of the inning.
NOTES: Marte flew out to start the game to end his streak of six straight hits over the previous two games. ... Rockies RHP Rafael Betancourt (appendectomy) is scheduled to throw a simulated game Monday. The team will decide after that whether to send him on a rehab assignment. ... Pittsburgh will send lefty Jeff Locke (9-3) against Colorado right-hander Chad Bettis (0-1) in the series finale Sunday.