Rockies 6, Pirates 5

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Matt Holliday sparked a five-run, ninth-inning rally, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Washington Nationals 6-5 on Friday night.

The Rockies, who had lost two straight to the Pittsburgh Pirates at home, avoided falling back to .500. Colorado remained 41/2 games behind San Diego in the wild-card race.

The Rockies trailed 5-1 going into the ninth, before Holliday hit a two-run homer, his 23rd of the year, off closer Chad Cordero (2-3). The Rockies then loaded the bases with no outs and Cordero was replaced by Jon Rauch, who gave up a two-run single to Yorvit Torrealba to pull the Rockies within 5-4. After a sacrifice bunt and a groundout, Kaz Matsui hit a soft grounder up the middle that shortstop D'Angelo Jimenez couldn't make a play on.

Brad Hawpe scored, and the Rockies ran onto the field and celebrated with Matsui.

Brian Fuentes (1-5) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.

The loss ruined another stellar performance by Shawn Hill, who scattered four hits over seven innings, striking out five and not allowing a walk. In 11 starts this season, Hill has allowed more than two runs only once, and has never allowed more than three.

Ryan Zimmerman and Wily Mo Pena both homered in staking Washington to a 5-1 lead.

Zimmerman was 3-for-4 with two singles and his 20th home run of the year. Pena's home run was his third in seven games since joining the Nationals in a trade from the Boston Red Sox.

Jeff Francis gave up four runs - three earned - and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Dmitri Young gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead with a one-out single to center in the first inning. Colorado tied it at 1 on Troy Tulowitzki's RBI single in the first.

Zimmerman homered over the scoreboard in right field with one out in the third inning to give Washington a 2-1 lead.

Pena homered off Taylor Buchholz with one out in the eighth.

Notes: In the midst of a 4-for-36 skids, INF Felipe Lopez was out of the starting lineup. ... RHP Jason Simontacchi (right elbow tendinitis) has soreness in his right elbow and will see Dr. James Andrews. ... RHP Aaron Cook (strained left oblique muscle) will throw a bullpen session on Sunday. ... According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the game matched two Canadian born pitchers for the first time since Ryan Dempster of Florida matched up against Mike Johnson of Montreal on July 1, 2000. ... Holliday extended his hitting streak to 14 games.

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