DENVER -- The problem for the Pirates lately hasn't been having a lead late in the game. It has been holding that lead after the bullpen is called on.
Given recent history, the Pirates' four-run lead over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field --after starting pitcher Ross Ohlendorf left upon walking Clint Barmes to start the seventh inning --didn't seem safe.
But Tuesday turned out to be different.
Jose Ascanio, Jesse Chavez, Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan combined for three hits and no runs in three innings, and the Pirates (46- 66) snapped a season-high tying eight-game losing streak with a 7-3 win over the Rockies (62-51).
The Rockies, who scored 22 runs on 30 hits in their previous two games against the Chicago Cubs, scored a total of just three on nine last night.
Ohlendorf (10-8) became the first Pirates pitcher to reach double- digits in wins this season. Garrett Jones doubled twice with one RBI and Delwyn Young tripled with two RBI, as the Pirates scored seven runs on 11 hits. Andrew McCutchen stole three bases to lead the Pirates in recording five on the night. It was the most steals in one game for the Pirates since July 26, 2005.
"It's real good; it feels real good just to get that win and get it on the road, too," McCutchen said. "We haven't been doing good on the road. But it's good just to get a win."
The Pirates, who are now 18-39 on the road, were coming off a 10- game homestand in which they had won just two games. In seven of those games, they led after six innings, but won only twice.
They were also coming into Coors Field, where they hadn't won in nearly two years. Their last win in the Mile High City was Aug. 23, 2007, a losing streak of seven games.
To make things more interesting, the Pirates were facing an unknown in Rockies starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin, who had made just four appearances in relief before making his first major- league start last night.
In five innings, the 21-year-old had posted a 1.80 ERA out of the bullpen, with three scoreless innings and nine strikeouts to start his major-league career.
He didn't make it out of the third inning.
With the game tied, 1-1, in the third, Chacin started off by walking McCutchen. Lastings Milledge flied out, and Chacin walked Jones to prompt a second trip to the mound from pitching coach Bob Apodaca on the night.
With Ryan Doumit at bat, McCutchen and Jones stole bases, and catcher Chris Iannetta's throwing error to second allowed McCutchen to score and Jones to move to third. Chacin walked Steve Pearce …