It wasn't much better for Cole in the second. Carlos Gomez singled, stole second, and came home on Khris Davis' double off the RF wall; he had a green light on a 3-0 pitch. The Bucs went Marlon Byrd single, force out; John Buck single, force out; Cole K. With one down in the third, Segura bunted for a hit, but Lucroy's 4-6-3 DP cut that frame short. The Bucs got a line out from JT followed by a Neil Walker knock. Cutch had a long at-bat, but it didn't end well; he bounced into a 6-4-3 DP.
Aramis Ramirez opened the fourth by dropping a fly over the wall in right center to make it 3-0; Gomez followed with a soft single dumped into right. After an out, a walk put Brewers at first and second. But for the third time, Cole got a grounder when he needed it, and a 6-4-3 DP ended the frame with Milwaukee up 3-0. With two down for the Bucs, Gaby walked and Buck rolled a single to center. There they stayed as Mercer froze on a 3-2 heater that nicked the inside corner.
After an out in the fifth, Gennett singled up the middle. Dang if Cole didn't coax another DP out of the Brewers, a 6-4-3 to close out the frame. Somewhat oddly, with an extra bat in the lineup after Locke's brief demotion and September right around the corner, Clint Hurdle let Cole bat, and he K'ed. JT went down on three pitches, only offering at one, and Walker popped out. Guess it didn't make much difference who led off, and Hurdle was no doubt looking ahead to the Card series and keeping some arms fresh.
Cole worked a quiet sixth. The Buc luck continued; Cutch lined a laser to third; Pedro hit one up the middle but into a shift, and Byrd flew out to the track. The seventh was another clean frame for Cole, and he's now retired seven in a row. Gaby was ready for a 3-1 fastball; so was Gomez, who leaped to haul it in at the 399' mark. Buck collected his third knock, a ground single that ticked off Segura's glove into left. Mercer, who's been having a tough day at the dish, got a heater right down the middle and bounced it to short for an inning ending 6-4-3 DP.
Gallardo was yanked before Cole, who got pinch hitter Norichika Aoki on a grounder. But he hasn't found an answer for Gennett, who smacked his third single of the night. Segura singled to right; a bad throw by Byrd put Brewers at second and third. That brought on Bryan Morris. He worked Lucroy down and in, but went to the well once too often; he pumped out a sac fly to make it 4-0 with the Bucs having six outs to work with. Brandon Kintzler took the ball. Felix Pie pinch hit, and he cranked a ball to straight center where Gomez made the catch. JT rolled over on a sinker away and rolled out to first and Walker bounced out to short.
Justin Wilson climbed the bump in the ninth and put the Brewers down in order. Cutch opened the Bucco half with a walk. It took Pedro one pitch to kill thoughts of a rally, banging into a 3-6-3 DP. Byrd lifted a short fly to left, and the Bucs went down 4-0.
For Cole, this was only the second time that he's been touched for four runs. Considering he came up still looking for command of his secondary stuff, has been yanked around in the rotation to preserve innings and was working on his fourth catcher in 14 starts, it's been a decent go of it for the righty. He hasn't been equal to the hype, but has been consistent. The Buc bats deserved better today, too. While they weren't exactly Murderer's Row - Buck had three of their six hits - they did square up on quite a few balls that found gloves instead of grass tonight.
Well, the stage is set for the Card showdown as Francisco Liriano and Shelby Miller meet. St. Louis is up by a game with three to play at PNC Park.
- The two teams grounded into seven DPs; Jordy Mercer and Jean Segura each started a pair.
- 23,747 fans were in the yard tonight.
- The Pirates are now 12-14 in August; they were 11-17 last year.
- Indy RHP Vic Black was officially announced as the PTBNL in the Byrd deal.
- Dan Marino tossed out the first pitch tonight.