In the quiet of the Rockies' clubhouse Thursday night in Atlanta Troy Tulowitzki was ejected and dejected. He had been run from a game because of his repeated use of the word "no" to plate umpire Marvin Hudson.

His burst of temper was poorly timed with the bench short but there were more than a few players who weren't bothered by his short fuse. The Rockies sleepwalked through a beatdown by the Braves that was embarrassing on every level. So a little emotion wasn't the worst thing.

"The key is that we continue to play hard and play the game the right way and let everything unfold from there" Tulowitzki said.

What seemed like ambitious optimism turned into a blueprint Friday night as the Rockies broke a four-game losing streak behind the brilliance of Jhoulys Chacin and timely hitting in a 4-2 victory over the Pirates at sold-out PNC Park.

"He was nasty. That's the best I've seen him" Tulowitzki said of Chacin who pitched the final three innings with a compression sleeve on his right forearm after being struck by a line drive. "He's tough. He did exactly what we needed."

Tulowitzki did his part to redeem himself from his early exit homering on his first at-bat to give Colorado its first lead since Tuesday against the Braves. It was his 20th home run of the season the fifth time he's reached that total in his career providing a glimpse into his unique skill set as a shortstop.

But this game was about Chacin the Machine. Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland is fond of saying that momentum in baseball is tied to that day's starting pitcher. They are the hub of baseball's universe the equivalent of a hockey goalie or an NFL quarterback. When the starter is right a lot of other things can go wrong.

Little did go wrong for Chacin on Friday when fans received free Pirates T-shirts. He accomplished everything but a complete game in one of the most impressive outings of his career. The right-hander was a model of efficiency allowing just one run and six hits in eight innings. He required only 96 pitches and threw an eye-popping 70 strikes. He was everything the previous four Rockies starters were not.