The Pirates may have the second-best record in the Majors, but Friday's 10-1 loss to the Rockies did little to make them feel comfortable.
Pittsburgh will look to turn the page as the clubs square off again Saturday at Coors Field.
"You're playing a team that can strike quickly; they have a very good comfort zone here offensively at home," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "The numbers scream at ya. We've got to pitch well, we got to catch well, we got to find a way to continue to show up on offense ourselves. So there will be a significant challenge here in Colorado."
A.J. Burnett will face the Rockies for his second straight start after dominating them Sunday. Getting his first win since June 8 in that start, the right-hander tossed a complete game, allowing just one run on eight hits.
The win marked his fifth of the season and lowered his ERA to 2.73, which is more than a run below his career mark.
"A.J.'s best game of the season: best stuff, best command," Hurdle said after the game. "Focus, rhythm, tempo. Pitch efficiency: 26 of 33 first-pitch strikes."
Right-hander Juan Nicasio will be on the hill for the Rockies, going up against Burnett again as he looks for his first win since July 20.
Laboring through much of his last start, Nicasio dealt with plenty of foot traffic on the bases. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits for his sixth loss of the season.
"I was missing with my fastballs, and the hitters had a lot of foul balls, too," Nicasio said after the start. "I tried to finish the inning, but I had a lot of pitches, so I went out of the game."
Pirates: Wandy to throw bullpen session Saturday
• Pittsburgh starter Wandy Rodriguez is set to throw 25 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday. It is a crucial step in his rehab schedule.
Rodriguez will work on his fastball and changeup in the session as he continues to recover from a left forearm injury.
Thursday, Hurdle said Rodriguez would not be ready to pitch Sept. 1, when teams can expand their rosters to 40 players. However, the bullpen session marks the first time the left-hander will throw off a mound since sustaining the injury June 5.
Rookie Gerrit Cole has filled in since, holding his own in the Major Leagues with a 3.95 ERA through the first 11 big league starts of his career.
Rockies: Chatwood, Gonzalez have MRI exams
• MRI exams on the right elbow of Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood and the right middle finger of left fielder Carlos Gonzalez confirmed earlier diagnoses. Each player should be able to heal without surgery.
Chatwood, who was scratched from a start Tuesday because of left hamstring tightness and placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday because of elbow issues, was found to have an impingement in the elbow but no structural damage.
The Rockies placed Gonzalez on the DL on Wednesday because of recurring problems with the finger, and they ordered the MRI exam to rule out anything beyond the sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in the finger.
• The Pirates are just 28-58 in National League West cities since 2008, including 7-10 at Coors Field.
• In two career starts against the Pirates, Nicasio is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.