(Sports Network) - The Colorado Rockies try to avoid their eighth straight loss this evening when they play the middle test of their three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at Coors Field.
Following a 2-9 road trip, things didn't get any easier upon returning home for the Rockies, even with the return of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Neil Walker finished 3-for-4 with a solo home run as Pittsburgh continued Colorado's second-half slide with a 4-2 victory.
Zach Duke (5-9) gave the Bucs six solid innings, allowing two runs on just three hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks. Octavio Dotel pitched the ninth frame for his 21st save of the season. The Pirates snapped a four-game skid and had lost six in a row on the road and 22 of their previous 24 outside Pittsburgh.
"Zach did a good job and the bullpen did what they usually do for us late in the game. It was a very solid win for us," Pirates manager John Russell said.
Jorge De La Rosa (3-3) took the loss, surrendering three runs -- two earned -- on six hits with eight strikeouts and two walks over seven frames. Brad Hawpe and Clint Barmes hit back-to-back home runs for the Rockies, who have lost 11 of their last 13 games.
The Rockies, who last lost eight straight back in 2008, activated Tulowitzki from the 15-day disabled list before the game after he missed 33 contests with a fractured left wrist. He went 0-for-4 and committed his sixth error of the season.
However, the Rockies lost another big piece to the puzzle before the game when reliever Huston Street was hit in the abdomen by a line drive during batting practice. He was taken to the hospital and reportedly lost consciousness two or three times before the ambulance arrived.
Hoping to get the Rockies back on track tonight will be veteran Aaron Cook, who is 4-6 with a 4.78 ERA. Cook was defeated by Philadelphia on Friday, as he gave up five runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Cook has faced the Pirates eight times (five starts) and is 2-1 with a 4.78 ERA.
The Pirates will counter with righty Ross Ohlendorf, who was tagged with a hard-luck loss his last time out against Milwaukee. Ohlendorf gave up a run and five hits in six innings of that one, but was on the wrong end of the 3-2 decision.
Ohlendorf is 1-1 in two starts against the Rockies, but is 0-4 in six road starts this season. His last road win came in Colorado last August.
Colorado won six of nine matchups with the Pirates last year and has dominated this series at home over the past two seasons, having gone 9-2 against Pittsburgh at Coors Field since 2008.