PITTSBURGH -- Five weeks to the day after undergoing surgery to treat testicular cancer, Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Jameson Taillon was a winner.
Taillon returned to the mound and threw five scoreless innings during the Pirates' 7-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Monday at PNC Park.
Taillon (3-1) hadn't pitched for Pittsburgh since May 4, and he underwent surgery on May 8, but after three rehab starts, he was ready to get back to major league competition.
The 25-year-old Florida native struck out the first two batters he faced and wound up fanning five, walking two and allowing five hits on 82 pitches.
"That's a tough lineup," he said. "A lot of tough takes. It's a team I had to roll up my sleeves against them."
Taillon didn't necessarily have his best stuff, but that was to be expected considering the circumstance.
"He pitched well," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "His command wasn't anything close to what we've seen in the past. He went out there and he pitched. It was fun to watch."
While Taillon has said he wants to be able to use his platform to raise awareness about his disease, he also is thankful to be able to get back to focusing on baseball.
"I feel like I've been through a lot," he said. "Hopefully, there's not that much more coming my way and I can just take the ball every fifth day. But whenever there's a runner on third and no outs, it's not as big of a deal to me anymore. That was a bit of perspective."
The Pirates' offense provided Taillon with plenty of support. They got things started in the first inning as Josh Harrison hit his eighth home run of the season. Max Moroff walked to get the inning started before Harrison put a 1-1 pitch from Kyle Freeland into the seats for a quick 2-0 lead.
Pittsburgh added two more in the fourth. Harrison reached on a throwing error by Colorado shortstop Trevor Story and scored on David Freese's double. Two batters later, Andrew McCutchen drove in Freese with a single.
Harrison went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. In that streak, he is hitting .395 with four RBIs. Freese and Jose Osuna added two hits apiece.
Gregory Polanco singled home Moroff in the sixth to chase Freeland (7-4), who gave up five runs (four earned) and allowed a season-high nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.
"He got us into the sixth inning and gave a chance to win at 4-1," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "Kyle hung in there. He wasn't as sharp as we've seen him. A couple of hitters did a nice job of staying on his sinker and going the other way with it.
"The story of the game was that their guys made big pitches, we didn't, and they kept adding on runs."
John Jaso drew a bases-loaded walk and Moroff hit a sacrifice fly to score two more runs in the seventh.
Colorado's Ian Desmond doubled and scored on Story's single off Pirates reliever Wade LeBlanc in the sixth. Pat Valaika doubled and scored on a DJ LeMahieu groundout in the ninth.
NOTES: To clear a spot for RHP Jameson Taillon's move from the disabled list to the 25-man roster, the Pirates optioned INF Phil Gosselin to Triple-A Indianapolis. Since being recalled on June 2, Gosselin appeared in five games and went 1-for-8 with one RBI. He is hitting .135 on the season. ... The Pirates drafted RHP Shane Baz from Concordia Lutheran High School in Tomball, Texas, with the No. 12 pick in the first round of the draft. ... The Rockies selected Stillwater, Okla., 3B Ryan Vilade with the 48th pick in the second round of the draft. Colorado did not have a first-round pick due to the signing of free agent OF/INF Ian Desmond. ... Rockies SS Trevor Story singled in the sixth inning to snap an 0-for-13 skid. Story is hitting .194 on the season. ... Colorado CF Charlie Blackmon went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Blackmon is hitting .337 on the season and is 17-for-39 (.436) in his current streak.