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Jun 16, 2024 8:18 am

Rockies look to duplicate highlight-reel effort vs. Pirates

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The Colorado Rockies haven’t had much to celebrate this season, but Ryan McMahon’s unlikely steal of home in Saturday night’s 16-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates is one to remember.

McMahon’s straight steal was one of many highlights of the night as host Colorado evened the three-game series ahead of Sunday’s finale in Denver.

The Rockies, who have the second-worst record in the National League at 25-45, will send Dakota Hudson (2-8, 4.87 ERA) to the mound while Pittsburgh has not named a starter and likely will go with a bullpen game.

Rookie sensation and former Air Force Academy cadet Paul Skenes originally was in line to start for the Pirates, but he was pushed back to Monday in a home game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Whichever pitcher opens on Sunday won’t be throwing to Henry Davis. The catcher was placed on the seven-day concussion injured list after he took a foul ball off of his face mask on Friday night.

“He took a pretty good shot last night, and then an inning later, he came over and wasn’t in a good spot,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “So we got him out, we ran him through the protocol … we have to make sure — these are serious, serious things when you’re dealing with foul balls, and I appreciate that Major League Baseball really has a really good protocol in this case.”

Pittsburgh did have some positives in Saturday’s blowout loss. Andrew McCutchen continues to play younger than his 37 years, hitting his 10th home run of the season. He has homered in five straight games at Coors Field. And Bryan Reynolds extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

McCutchen is in his second tour with the Pirates and is playing well after a slow start this season.

“I’m just keeping my body in a good place physically,” he said. “If I’m able to do that and have my legs under me, then I’m able to play the game the way that I know I can.”

His night was overshadowed by Colorado’s season high in runs and a breakout game for rookie Hunter Goodman. He homered twice and finished with five RBIs in just his second career start behind the plate, and he might have earned more playing time at catcher.

With Elias Diaz on the injured list, Goodman — the Rockies’ fourth-round pick in 2021 — has been thrust into the backup role behind Jacob Stallings.

“It’s fun. I enjoy catching,” Goodman said after his four-hit night. “I’ve caught my whole life, college, before college. You’re in the game every pitch.”

Chances are Stallings will be Hudson’s batterymate for Sunday’s matinee game as the right-hander tries to improve his stats at Coors Field. Hudson has struggled in six home starts this season, going 0-3 with a 7.57 ERA.

He will face Pittsburgh for the 12th time — and eighth start — in his career and is 2-1 with one save and a 4.82 ERA in those games. He last faced the Pirates on Sept. 1, 2023, in a no-decision when he was on the roster of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Hudson was winless through seven starts but is 2-2 with a 3.41 ERA in his past six outings.

–Field Level Media

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