September 23, 2015 / 6:13 AM / 3 years ago

Pirates top Rockies, inch closer to playoff spot

(The Sports Xchange) - The Pittsburgh Pirates did not bother to stick around their clubhouse for a possible celebration after they beat the Colorado Rockies 6-3 on Tuesday.

Sep 22, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Chris Stewart (19) and center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) celebrate the win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Pirates defeated the Rockies 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a good thing because Pittsburgh were unable to seal a post-season berth with the San Francisco Giants sealing a 4-2 win at San Diego later on Tuesday.

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said he had met with his senior players who decided the team would not wait in the clubhouse for the outcome of the Giants game but return to their hotel.

“When it’s official, it’s official ... I’d rather go home and go to bed,” said Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, implying his team’s goals are higher than just clinching a playoff spot.

The Pirates scored in each of the first four innings, totaling their six runs, against Colorado starter Chris Rusin (5-9) on Tuesday to clinch their 91st win of the season.

J.A. Happ (10-8) worked 5-1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with one walk and eight strikeouts after 82 pitches

Happ has gone 6-1 with a 1.73 ERA in his past seven games.

“I felt OK,” said Happ, who yielded a homer to catcher Wilin Rosario in the second and two runs in the third.

“I felt like I’ve had better fastball command in previous games. Definitely gave it what I had tonight. It was a battle out there. Left a few pitches over the plate. Overall felt like I kept us in there.”

Mark Melancon retired the side in order in the ninth and earned his 49th save, extending his franchise record.

He is trying to become the seventh National League reliever to save 50 or more games in a season and the first since Craig Kimbrel (50) with the Braves in 2013.

“He’s closing ball games as efficiently as anybody in the major leagues,” Hurdle said.

“He does it with miss-hits, not big strikeout numbers. He’s a pro out there.”

Compiled by Greg Stutchbury

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