For the second start in a row, Gerrit Cole didn’t really pitch his best game against an inferior opponent. After giving up ten hits and a walk without a strikeout in seven one-run innings against the Rockies last week, he walked three Diamondbacks and giving up seven hits in five laborious innings, but he only allowed one unearned run in those five innings.
Also, he blasted a three-run, 400+ foot homer to center field, which didn’t hurt.
Cole ultimately didn’t get the win because AJ Schugel gave the two-run lead right back to the Diamondbacks in the sixth inning, but the Pirate offense turned the game on its head right after that and got Schugel his first career win. Josh Harrison, sitting out for a second straight game with the flu, drove home two runs with a pinch-hit double in the bottom of the sixth, and the Pirates added three more with a rally in the eighth.
The Pirates close out their homestand at 8-2, and are 9-2 in their last 11. They’ve cut the Cub lead in half in those 11 games, from nine games after their loss on May 14th. Obviously needing to cut a nine game lead in half was a less than ideal place to start from, but a big lead has to be cut in half before anything else happens. Now it’s up to the Pirates to keep this level of play going on the road.
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