PITTSBURGH (AP) – Todd Helton hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the 10th inning off Jose Mesa after Pittsburgh had tied it in the ninth, and the Colorado Rockies won another road game Friday night by beating the Pirates 5-3.

Aaron Miles singled off Mesa (1-6) with one out ahead of Helton’s drive into the right-field seats, which gave Colorado its first extra-inning victory in four attempts this season. David Cortes then pitched the 10th for his first career save, despite allowing leadoff singles by Jose Castillo and Humberto Cota.

Helton went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and is 26-for-63 (.413) in July. His .381 career average against Pittsburgh is the second-best among major league hitters, trailing only Jeff Cirillo’s .396.

The Pirates were 3-47 when trailing after eight innings, but tied it against All-Star closer Brian Fuentes (2-3) in the ninth on Matt Lawton’s RBI single. The Pirates loaded the bases with one out as Fuentes blew only his second save opportunity in his last 16, but the left-hander struck out rookie Brad Eldred and Rob Mackowiak in succession.

On a day the last-place Rockies got even more bad news by learning right-hander Jason Jennings would miss the rest of the season with a fractured finger on his pitching hand, they turned Helton’s 11th homer into their third road victory in five games.

The Rockies hope it is the start of a turnaround after they dropped all but seven of their first 43 road games, the worst such start by an NL team since the 1963 New York Mets started 7-44 on the road.

The Rockies reached double digits in road victories – they’re 10-38 – long after most teams have won 20 times on the road. Only Cincinnati (11-31) among NL teams is close to being as bad away from home as Colorado.

Pittsburgh trailed 3-0 following Matt Holiday’s solo homer in the fourth, his fifth, and Garrett Atkins’ two-run double in the sixth against Kip Wells. But Jason Bay doubled in a run in the Pirates’ sixth following five scoreless innings by Jamey Wright, and Mackowiak had a run-scoring grounder to make it 3-2.

Castillo prevented a possibly bigger Pirates’ sixth by being picked off by Wright to end the inning with two on, and grounded out to end the fourth with runners on first and third.

Notes: Holliday went 2-for-2 against Wells and is 5-for-7 with two homers and three RBIs against the right-hander. … Wells struck out seven and walked one, but didn’t get the decision after losing six of his last seven. … The Pirates lost their sixth in seven games and ninth in 11. … Eldred, playing in his first major league game, singled up the middle in the first and went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts. He was promoted after hitting 28 homers in 75 games in the minors. … SS Jack Wilson and 2B Castillo teamed to make an exceptional defensive play to retire Atkins in the ninth. Wilson went to his stomach to stop Atkins’ ball up the middle, shuttled it to Castillo with his glove hand and Castillo threw to first for the out.

AP-ES-07-22-05 2214EDT


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