PITTSBURGH - Francisco Liriano continued his recent dominance with seven strong innings, and Jose Tabata homered and drove in two runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-2 victory against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.
Liriano (12-4) allowed only two hits to offset his five walks and had six strikeouts. The left-hander improved to 7-1 with a 1.65 ERA in his last eight starts for the NL Central leaders.
Tabata hit his first home run since May 11 - a span of 112 plate appearances - and also tripled while going 3 for 4.
Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen (22) gets into second past the tag of Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki after driving in Starling Marte.
The Rockies put men on base in six of Liriano's seven innings but they went 0-for-9 against him with runners on, including five hitless at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Gaby Sanchez had two hits and two RBIs for Pittsburgh, while Jordy Mercer and Andrew McCutchen added two hits each.
Fill-in closer Mark Melancon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save.
Jorge De La Rosa (10-6) pitched four-plus innings and gave up three runs on six hits while striking out three and walking two. The outing came a day after Rockies owner Dick Monfort said Colorado would exercise De La Rosa's $11 million club option for 2014.
Colorado lost for the fifth time in six games.
The Pirates scored one run each in the third through seventh innings to take a 5-0 lead.
In the third, Starling Marte led off with a single, stole second, took third on Jordy Mercer's groundout and scored on Andrew McCutchen's double. Tabata led off the fourth by homering over the 375 sign in right-center for his third of the season.
Sanchez hit run-scoring singles in both the fifth and seventh innings, while Tabata led off the sixth with a triple and scored on Josh Harrison's squeeze bunt.
Colorado finally scored a pair in the eighth on consecutive RBI singles by Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer, who returned to the team after missing the previous two games because of a family emergency.