DENVER -- Scott Podsednik's struggles at the plate forced him to go back to the basics. It paid of handsomely Saturday night.
Podsednik, a career .272 hitter, came into Saturday's game hitting .217. After a session with hitting coach Alan Cockrell, he showed immediate improvement.
"Ace and I did some work in the cage a couple of days ago," said Podsednik, who boosted his average to .240. "Since then, I've had a real good feeling at the plate."
It translated into the eighth four-hit game of his career, and his three doubles were a career best. Podsednik's last four-hit game came May 1, 2006, at Cleveland when he was playing for the Chicago White Sox.
Podsednik singled in the first and double in his next three at-bats. He had a chance for a career-high five hits when he batted in the ninth, but he grounded out to second and had to settle for four hits.
"I'll take a few more of those this season," Podsednik said.
Podsednik's big night helped the Rockies to their third straight win over Pittsburgh in the four-game series. Freddy Sanchez had three hits for the Pirates, who have dropped four straight and five of six.
"There is no magic button, there's nothing you can say or do, you just have to go out and do it," Sanchez said of the losing streak. "You have to keep battling. That's what we're trying to do right now."
The Rockies, despite being 42-57, are only seven games behind Arizona in the National League West.
"It's only three games. This pendulum swings big both ways," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "We've got to focus on the game tomorrow. We won the series; that was objective No. 1. We're in a good place."
It looked dicey early but De La Rosa (4-5) got through a rough first inning to strike out seven. He gave up a run in the first and faced seven batters but settled down, scattering four hits over his last five innings of work.
"He pitched a good, efficient ballgame for him," Hurdle said. "A problematic first inning, but he was able to navigate through it with one run, which was big for us at the time."
Pirates starter Yoslan Herrera (0-1) had a tougher time, leaving after retiring two batters in the second. Herrera, making his second major league start, was roughed up for five runs in the first inning and two more in the second. He left after Garret Atkins singled home Podsednik and Brad Hawpe drove in Atkins with a double to make it 7-1.
"He got behind the 8-ball quick and just couldn't stop it," Pirates manager John Russell said. "He got behind in the count and he had to start throwing the ball over the plate."
In the first, Herrera nearly escaped with only minor damage. After surrendering a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to Atkins, Hawpe grounded into a fielder's choice. With runners on the corners and two outs, Yorvit Torrealba and Ian Stewart singled, and Omar Quintanilla doubled to make it 5-1.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first on Ryan Doumit's single.
Notes: Pirates OF Xavier Nady rejoined the team Saturday. Nady was away due to the birth of his son Tuesday, Xavier Henry Nady. Nady got a pinch-hit single with two outs in the ninth. ... The Rockies acquired minor league INF Mike McCoy from the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday in exchange for minor league INF Juan Castro. ... Hurdle said SS Troy Tulowitzki (lacerated right hand) could be activated from the 15-day DL Monday.