- Associated Press - Monday, May 23, 2016

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Called up to be a long reliever, Jordan Lyles was forced into making a spot start Monday for the Colorado Rockies, who were making up a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates that had been postponed a day earlier because of rain.

Lyles lasted just 2 1/3 innings as the Pirates jumped on him for six runs and coasted to a 6-3 series-clinching victory.

He got off to a good enough start, turning aside the Pirates in order in the first inning, but came unraveled in the second. After allowing two singles, two walks, two stolen bases and a wild pitch, the bases were loaded when he hit Pittsburgh starter Ryan Vogelsong in the head, allowing another run to score. Vogelsong was taken from the field on a cart and later admitted to a hospital to have an injury to his left eye evaluated.

After the inauspicious start and the unsettling sight of Vogelsong leaving the game, Rockies manager Walt Weiss debated removing Lyles then and there, but the young pitcher settled down, getting John Jaso to ground into a double play to end the inning.

“We talked about it. (Pitching coach Steve) Foster and I thought Jordan handled it OK,” Weiss said. “(Foster) talked to him. He didn’t seem rattled. That can definitely shake you up, something like that. But he seemed to be OK after the fact.”

He wasn’t OK for long, as he let the Pirates load the bases again in the third inning and a throwing error by first baseman Mark Reynolds opened the floodgates. In total, Lyles (1-2) allowed six runs, four earned.

“Overall, I was just missing targets and not throwing the quality pitches in the strike zone to get quality guys out,” Lyles said.

Wilfredo Boscan (1-0) replaced Vogelsong to earn his first career win, pitching four innings and allowing two runs, both of which came on a Charlie Blackmon double in the fifth that scored D.J. LeMahieu and Tony Wolters.

Mark Melancon pitched the final two outs of the ninth to collect his 15th save of the season, but it wasn’t without drama. Melancon entered with two men on base and one out and surrendered a single and a sacrifice fly by LeMahieu that scored Carlos Gonzalez before getting Wolters to fly out to end the threat.

Gonzalez snapped a 0-for-17 streak at the plate. He finished the afternoon 2 for 4.

MAKING PLANS

With Sunday’s game postponed because of rain after one inning, managers Clint Hurdle and Walt Weiss diverged on the fate of Monday’s starting pitchers. Weiss will send Chad Bettis to the mound on Wednesday, while Hurdle decided to send Juan Nicasio back to the end of the line.

“I guess you can call it a silver lining from yesterday, I guess, that (Bettis) only threw eight pitches,” Weiss said. “We get to bring him back again on this road trip.”

Weiss picked Wednesday for Bettis as the day that created the least havoc on the rest of his rotation. Hurdle’s decision was based on limiting innings for Nicasio, who has already thrown 42 1/3 innings this season, after throwing 58 1/3 in all of 2015.

“I think the pause will actually help him,” Hurdle said. “We’re actually helping him build his endurance right now through the first six or seven weeks of the season.”

TRAINING ROOM

Pirates: 3B Jung Ho Kang was held out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive day with a left hand injury. He pinch-hit for Boscan in the sixth inning, flying out to left-center field. He is expected to start on Tuesday.

Rockies: Reliever Jason Motte (shoulder) is continuing his rehab with Triple-A Albuquerque and is scheduled to throw on back-to-back days for the first time this evening. That is the final step to him being recalled, which Weiss said could happen during the Boston series.

UP NEXT

Rockies: Jorge De La Rosa (1-3, 10.18 ERA) is expected to come off the disabled list to start a three-game series against the Red Sox in Boston. De La Rosa has been on the shelf with a groin injury since April 26.

Pirates: Francisco Liriano (3-3, 4.63 ERA) will take the mound looking to shake off back-to-back losses. His last one was of the tough-luck variety, as he pitched seven innings and gave up only two runs against the Atlanta Braves on May 18.

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