PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Pirates starter Ryan Vogelsong was carted off the field after getting struck in the head by a pitch in the second inning of a 6-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday.
With the bases loaded and Pittsburgh leading 1-0, Colorado starter Jordan Lyles (1-2) hit Vogelsong in the left cheek with a 92 mph fastball. Typically pitching out of the bullpen, Vogelsong was making his second start of the season, filling in because of a rainout Sunday.
The Pirates later said he was admitted to the hospital for injuries to his left eye. Vogelsong was replaced by Wilfredo Boscan (1-0), who got the win in relief.
Pittsburgh took an early lead on Lyles and never looked back. Besides hitting Vogelsong, the right-hander walked three, allowed two stolen bases, threw a wild pitch and gave up six runs over 2 1/3 innings. All of the damage came in the second and third innings, when the Pirates had six singles from five different hitters.
Vogelsong pitched two scoreless innings before getting injured, holding Colorado to two hits and getting two strikeouts on 34 pitches.
Boscan earned his first career win, allowing two runs on two hits in 4 innings. He also contributed with his bat, hitting an RBI single in his first career plate appearance in the bottom of the third.
Mark Melancon pitched the final two outs of the ninth to collect his 15th save of the season.
Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez snapped a 0-for-17 streak at the plate. He finished the afternoon 2 for 4 with a pair of singles and scored on a D.J. LeMahieu sacrifice fly in the ninth.
With Sunday’s game postponed after just 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, meanwhile, 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.”
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.
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.