PITTSBURGH — Jack Suwinski doesn’t get into the batter’s box trying to hit home runs. The Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder hits them anyway.
The 23-year-old returned a full throw just over the rail over the Clemente Wall at PNC Park in the sixth inning on Wednesday to erase a three-run deficit, the spark the Pirates used to rally for a 10-5 win. on Colorado.
A month into a Double-A major league callup, born out of convenience more than anything else, Suwkinski has five home runs and leads National League rookies.
“It’s noisy, man. The kid can hit,” said Pittsburgh second baseman Josh VanMeter, whose three-run homer in the seventh gave the Pirates some breathing room. “His Double-A numbers before he got here were stupid.”
Still, it’s a massive leap from the Eastern League to the majors, one Suwinski navigated trying to keep his head down. Although he still only hits .188 this season, he has found a flair for the dramatic.
The Chicago-area native homered at Wrigley Field last week in front of his family, provided some solace in a bizarre 18-4 loss to St. Louis on Sunday by drilling one against Yadier Molina – this n That’s not a typo — and turned around what looked like Pittsburgh’s fifth loss in a six-game homestand in its 10th comeback win of the season with a swing.
“It’s definitely been a pretty crazy month for sure,” Suwinski said. “It’s been great though, just adapting and learning and lots of time talking to some of the guys that are here and being able to learn from them.”
Suwinski has learned so much that his number 65 — a number usually reserved for relief pitchers or September calls — might stick around for a while. He showed his maturity coming into the box against Colorado reliever Carlos Estévez with two runs in the sixth.
The nine-pitch battle ended with Suwinski sending a 97mph fastball just over the seats to set the stage for Pittsburgh’s biggest offensive explosion of the season.
“This kid doesn’t get shaken up very easily,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “It was nice to see him rewarded with the fruits of his labor.”
Ben Gamel gave the Pirates their first lead in the seventh with an RBI single against Justin Lawrence (1-1) and VanMeter followed up two batters later with his third homer of the year as Pittsburgh posted a season-high run.
“You know, I think we have a lot of good hitters,” VanMeter said. “I (just) think we have a lot of unproven hitters. You know, it’s kind of like the nature of the beast.
Dylan Peters (4-2) struck out the last two batters in the seventh for the win.
CJ Cron hit his 12th homer for the Rockies to tie him for the National League lead with Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts. Randal Grichuk went 2 for 4 with a double and three RBIs for Colorado, which was down 13 of 18 after a 15-10 start.
Rockies starter Ryan Feltner threw five solid innings, allowing two runs, three hits and two walks and seven strikeouts. Feltner’s offer for his first major league victory vanished when the bullpen struggled against Pittsburgh’s flagging offense.
Still, Colorado manager Bud Black was pleased with what he saw from the team’s fourth-round pick in the 2018 entry draft, especially after being a little knocked down in his previous start this season. , a loss to Philadelphia last month.
“He’s always finding his way, he is,” Black said. “There’s a learning curve here. A minor league game is really different from a major league game. But he’s got a good head on his shoulders and I think he’ll be fine in the long run.”
ROCKIES: Placed DE Kris Bryant on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Monday with back pain. This is Bryant’s second stint on the IL this season due to back issues. He missed nearly a month after initially tweaking the back in late April. He returned for two games against the New York Mets last weekend before being dropped from the lineup in the first two games in Pittsburgh as a precaution.
Pirates: OF Jake Marisnick (thumb surgery) appears to be ahead of schedule in his rehab. Marisnick was cleared to resume baseball activities on Monday. … SS Kevin Newman (groin) suffered a setback with his left hamstring while on rehab assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis. There is no timeline for Newman’s return.
Rockies: Start a four-game series against the Nationals in Washington on Thursday.
Pirates: Head west for a six-game road trip that begins Friday in San Diego.