- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

DENVER (AP) - Walt Weiss figured sooner or later a struggling Andrew McCutchen would break loose.

The Colorado Rockies manager was just hoping it would be after he left town. No such luck.

McCutchen hit three homers and drove in five runs to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the slumping Rockies 9-4 on Tuesday night.

“Unfortunately, he’s rolling again,” Weiss said. “You knew it was a matter of time. … He looks like he’s swinging pretty good to me.”

It was another less-than-stellar outing for starter Jorge De La Rosa (1-3), who struggled with his command after fighting off the stomach flu that forced the Rockies to move his start back a day. He gave up four runs in three innings before appearing to tweak his left groin while running out a ground ball in the third. He was taken out for a reliever.

Weiss wasn’t sure if a stint on the disabled list might be in order for De La Rosa.

“We’ll have to see where he is at and go from there,” Weiss said.

There weren’t many bright spots for the Rockies as they dropped their fourth straight game. Nolan Arenado had a solo homer and drove in another with a single.

This night belonged to McCutchen.

Given this kind of success, more rest days for McCutchen may just be in order - not that he necessarily wants to sit on the bench like he did Monday.

“But it was good to have that day to sit back and relax. Just clear my mind,” McCutchen said.

This was the second time McCutchen has gone deep on three occasions in a game. He also accomplished the feat on Aug. 1, 2009, against Washington.

He joins Ralph Kiner, Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente as the only Pirates with multiple three-run homer games in their career. That’s some elite company.

“It’s awesome to hit one homer, but to hit three is really cool,” McCutchen said.

The perennial All-Star entered the game in a 3-for-23 funk on this road trip but rediscovered his swing. McCutchen hit solo shots in the first and second innings off De La Rosa. He also lined a three-run homer off reliever Christian Bergman in the sixth.

“He’s gone through a period where he was getting challenged and kept working and kept looking for the answer, something to get him rolling again. He found something tonight,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

David Freese and Starling Marte also homered for the Pirates.

Gerrit Cole (2-2) threw six innings and allowed four runs - two earned - to win his second straight start. All the more impressive considering he didn’t have his breaking stuff working and so he relied mostly on fastballs.

“Perseverance, resilience, some guts,” Hurdle said of Cole. “He was like, ‘Here we go, old-fashioned baseball boys. Here it is.’”

A pivotal play in the game was a perfect strike from Marte in the fifth to preserve the Pirates’ lead. With the bases loaded, Arenado sharply singled to left, but Marte threw out a sliding Gerardo Parra at the plate to keep the score 4-3.

“That was a big play,” Weiss said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rockies: C Nick Hundley wasn’t in the lineup Tuesday. He played Monday after being reinstated from the disabled list following a concussion.

DAY OFF

Rookie shortstop Trevor Story was held out of the lineup for the first time this season. After a torrid start, his average has dipped to.247. His eight homers in April, though, are the most by an NL rookie since Albert Pujols hit eight with St. Louis in 2001. Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu holds the major league rookie record for April with 10 in 2014.

“It’s not the typical three-week start to a career that he’s had,” Weiss said. “He’s had a lot on his plate and I’m sure his world has been spinning at times.”

UP NEXT

Pirates: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-0) is 2-0 on the road heading into his start Wednesday at Coors Field. He’s 3-3 with a 5.34 ERA in nine starts against Colorado.

Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (0-0) makes his second start. He began the season on the disabled list with an abdominal strain.

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