The Pittsburgh Pirates earning their 92nd win of the season are post-season bound for the third straight year.
Neil Walker whose future in Pittsburgh beyond this season is in doubt, powered the Pirates past the Colorado Rockies tonight with four hits and career high six RBI night in the Pirates 13-7 win, clinching a post-season berth.
Walker accounted for the Pirates’ first 5-runs of the game. Walker delivered a two-run single in the first and hit a 3-run homer in the third.
Starling Marte’s 2-run double in the fourth put the Pirates ahead 7-1. With Charlie Morton on the mound, though, things were bound to get interesting and they sure did.
Morton was rocked in the fifth inning, allowing a solo home run to Corey Dickerson that cut the Pirates lead to 7-3, and three batters later Tom Murphy’s 3-run homer to left off Morton got the Rockies within one run and ended another disaster of an outing for Morton who allowed 10 hits and six earned runs in 4.1 innings pitched.
Morton’s last two starts he has allowed 19 hits and 11 earned runs, completely falling out of the mix to be in the rotation for the post-season.
In the ninth the Pirates would put the Rockies away for good with a six run inning, highlighted by Sean Rodriguez’s bases loaded 3-run double.
Neil Walker’s RBI single to left in the ninth capped off the big inning with the Pirates going up 13-6. Walker was 4-5 on the night with a home run, 6 RBIs and reached base five times.
Starling Marte, Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison each had three hits.
Relievers Joe Blanton, Joakim Soria, Tony Watson and Arquimedes Caminero combined to allow one run in 4 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.
The Pirates moved three games ahead of the Cubs for the top wildcard spot. Pittsburgh trails St. Louis by four games in the NL Central.