With reliever Ryan Vogelsong making a spot start Monday in a game rescheduled from the day before, Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle knew that he was going need a few innings from his bullpen.
Things took an unexpected turn, however, when Colorado Rockies starter Jordan Lyles hit Vogelsong in the head with a pitch in the bottom of the second inning of a game Pittsburgh went on to win 6-3.
After loading the bases, Lyles was ahead in the count 2-0 when his 92 mph fastball struck Vogelsong in the left cheek. The Pirates right-hander was taken from the field on a cart and was later admitted to a hospital for injuries to his left eye.
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Wilfredo Boscan (1-0) replaced Vogelsong on the mound, pitching four innings of relief. He was making just his second big league appearance, and doing so after watching his teammate leave the field was a challenge for the young Venezuelan.
"That's a serious situation," Boscan said through an interpreter. "At that moment, mentally, I started speaking to myself and getting myself ready. I started working even harder in the bullpen, so when I came out, I could dominate."
Boscan allowed two runs on two hits and struck out two batters. He also contributed with the bat, hitting an RBI single in his first career plate appearance in the bottom of the third.
"We actually gave him a heads-up that he would get involved today. Obviously, (it came) earlier than anyone intended," Hurdle said. "He was able to mix his pitches extremely well."
Vogelsong pitched two scoreless innings before getting hit, holding Colorado to two hits and getting two strikeouts. The team expects a further update on his status on Tuesday.
Offensively, the Pirates built a big lead on Lyles (1-2) in the second and third innings and never looked back. They scored all six of their runs over those two frames, but most of the damage on Lyles was self-inflicted. The 25-year-old right-hander walked three, allowed two stolen bases, threw a wild pitch and gave up six runs over 2 1/3 innings. The Pirates had six singles from five different batters in that stretch, piling up the runs without any extra-base hits.
"It's all part of your offense being complete," Hurdle said. "Maybe you don't get balls that you can drive into gaps for extra bases. You have to take what you can get, shoot some holes, get some singles, get some men on base and use that type of action."
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.
Home plate umpire Jeff Nelson left the game after a piece of debris struck him in the eye during a play at home. He was replaced behind the plate by first base umpire Ben May.