- Associated Press - Saturday, July 19, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Troy Tulowitzki sent a slow roller to shortstop and sprinted to first. The All-Star shortstop was a few steps from the bag when he suddenly grabbed his left leg and grimaced before gingerly making his way to the dugout.

Not even the MVP contender is immune to what is quickly becoming another painful summer for the Colorado Rockies.

Tulowitzki left in the fourth inning with what the team said is a cramp. Minus their franchise cornerstone, the Rockies fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 in 11 innings on Saturday night.

“Nothing serious,” said Tulowitzki, who leads the majors in batting average (.340) and runs (71). “We’ll see how I wake up (Sunday). The good news is I don’t think I tore anything or did anything to where I’m going to miss an extended period of time.”

A small victory, maybe, on another lost night for the Rockies. Colorado has dropped four straight and is 12-30 since June 1.

The Rockies had their chances. They took a 2-1 lead on Carlos Gonzalez’s two-run shot off Charlie Morton in the seventh and had runners on the corners with one out in the 11th. Charlie Blackmon’s liner back to the mound was snagged by Pittsburgh reliever Jared Hughes (5-2), who flipped to third for a double play.

“I threw the pitch, it was going to where I wanted it to, and he did an excellent job of getting to it and hitting a line drive. I did not see it,” Hughes said. “I feel like it just went right into my glove.”

The Pirates didn’t let the good fortune go to waste.

Neil Walker led off the inning with a single against Chad Bettis (0-2), moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored one batter later when Jordy Mercer hit a drive deep into the gap in left-center.

“I was seeing the ball well, but those situations you just kind of slow down,” Mercer said. “In those situations, everybody is amped up. Take a deep breath, get something to hit and put a good swing on it.”

The Pirates improved to 23-17 in one-run games this season, including 16-8 at home.

“We feel like we’re never out of anything, especially in this ballpark,” Mercer said. “We just kind of feed off each other and string together some good at-bats, and good things happen.”

Colorado starter Brett Anderson, acquired in a trade from Oakland last December following a humbling season in which he went from Opening Day starter to the bullpen, spent seven innings keeping Pittsburgh off balance with a dizzying array of breaking balls.

The left-hander allowed one run and struck out eight with just one walk, his only flub being consecutive doubles by Walker and Gaby Sanchez in the fourth that put the Pirates in front.

He retired the last 12 batters he faced and was in position to earn his first win since April 7, 2013, when Gonzalez took a curveball from Morton in the seventh and sent it streaking into the seats above the Roberto Clemente Wall in right field.

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