DENVER -- Pittsburgh had plenty of opportunities to strike early Friday night, but it all resulted in just a single run in a 10-1 loss to Colorado.
The Pirates opened with four straight singles, but Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa picked off Starling Marte as he attempted to steal second, allowing De La Rosa to survive the first unscathed. The Pirates would finish with 10 hits -- all singles -- ending at 54 a streak of games with an extra-base hit, fitting for a game defined by a lack of timely hitting.
While the Pirates thrived as the comeback kids on their last homestand, manager Clint Hurdle has seen his offense grow more productive in the opening innings.
"We've made some advancements," Hurdle said. "We've had some incremental advances from the second half, from the number of walks to the better at-bats, situational hitting, sac flies, pitch counts."
The 59 runs the Bucs have posted in the second are actually the most of any inning, and the numbers are very similar between the first and second half of games -- 191 runs in the first four innings to 243 in the final five innings.
But Hurdle is still hoping for greater urgency at the beginning of games.
"Everybody behind you has got an opportunity to add significant value from the offensive vein in the next six weeks," Hurdle said. "And it comes down to discipline, commitment, conviction, all those things we continue to talk about. As a group, it's gotten more cohesive."
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.