Jared Jones dazzles, Jack Suwinski provides walk-off single as Pirates edge Rockies 1-0

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pinch-hitter Jack Suwinski singled home Connor Joe with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday.

Joe led off the ninth against Nick Mears (0-3) with a single and eventually moved to third after walks to Jared Triolo and Oneil Cruz. Suwinski snapped an 0-for-12 skid by dropping a single into left as the Pirates snapped a five-game losing streak.

“Good at-bat, line drive through the middle, something we obviously needed a little bit,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “Just very good for our whole group.”

Jared Jones, Colin Holderman and David Bednar (2-2) combined for a one-hitter as the Pirates won for just the fourth time in their last 18 games. The Rockies managed just one baserunner, a double by Elias Diaz leading off the fifth.

“I’m just going out there and doing me,” Jones said after dropping his ERA to 2.63. “I’m sure I’ve had some spurts in my career where I’ve pitched just like this.”

The 22-year-old Jones has been a revelation during the season's opening weeks, dominating opponents with a fastball that can reach triple digits offset by a slider and change-up that can leave opponents guessing.

The right-hander baffled the Rockies, retiring the first 12 batters he faced before Díaz laced a clean double to the left-field corner. A strikeout and a pair of balls that didn't leave the infield later, Jones was jogging back to the dugout.

The Pirates have been careful with Jones in hopes of protecting his right arm. Shelton raised eyebrows when he lifted Jones after five innings and 59 pitches (50 of them strikes) against the New York Mets last month.

There was no early exit this time around. Jones went back out for the seventh for the first time in his career and navigated the middle of Colorado's lineup with ease, receiving a loud ovation when he retired the Rockies in order and headed to the dugout after throwing a season-high 96 pitches. Jones struck out 10 without a walk.

“I’ve had a short leash before, and that was to protect me,” Jones said. “Having him let me go out for the seventh, yeah, it pumped me up.”

Colorado starter Austin Gomber wasn't quite as dazzling but matched Jones while throwing six scoreless innings, allowing four hits against two walks and three strikeouts. The Rockies, off to a franchise-worst 8-25 start, have yet to win consecutive games this season.

No runner for either team reached third base through the first eight innings, a byproduct of two pitchers who had it going and offenses that have struggled to generate much of anything until Suwinski came through in the ninth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rockies: OF Nolan Jones (low back strain) did some running and throwing on the field at PNC Park before the game. There remains no timetable for a return for Jones, who was placed on the 10-day injured list on April 29. ... 1B Kris Bryant (low back strain) is doing some “baseball stuff" according to manager Bud Black, though Black did not offer specifics. Bryant has been out since April 13.

UP NEXT

The series wraps up on Sunday. Bailey Falter (2-2, 4.22 ERA) starts for Pittsburgh against Colorado's Ryan Feltner (1-2, 5.13).

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