Saturday, April 25, 2015

Bucs Ride the Cole Train, Two-Outing Lightning to 4-1 Win Over D-Backs

Pittsburgh scored early and then let Gerrit Cole take over the show as they took a 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks last night in the series opener. Neil Walker singled home El Coffee in the first, Josh Harrison's double to right center chased home Jordy Mercer and Cole in the second, and The Kid struck again in the eighth, doubling home Cutch.

The Kid is heating up (photo: Dave Arrigo/Pirates) 
Cole allowed one run and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings and was still touching 98 on the gun in the eighth frame. He struck out seven, walked two, and the run he gave up was iffy. It came a bouncing throw by The Kid after a diving stop that allowed Paul Goldschmidt to barely get past Fran Cervelli's tag (the the Bucs challenged the call, to no avail).

Gerrit solved what has been traditionally a problem for him, getting ahead in the count, tossing 27 first-pitch strikes against the 32 batters he faced, though he still used 107 pitches. Jared Hughes closed out the eighth with a whiff and the Shark worked a quiet ninth against the bottom of the order for the save.

AJ Burnett takes on Arizona's D-backs: Rubby De La Rosa tonight.

  • Neil Walker wasted no time extending his hitting streak to seven games with a first inning RBI single.
  • Cole Train is on quite a roll. Since Sept 7th of last season, he's 7-0 /2.65 ERA with 68 K in 57- 2/3 innings.
  • All four Pirate runs scored on two-out hits. The second was particularly impressive: with two gone and the 8-9 hitters up, Jordy walked, Gerrit singled and both came around on Josh's two-bagger to the wall in right center.
  • At 9-8, Pittsburgh is over the .500 mark for the first time this year.
  • Pirate fans missed most of the action; it was 3-0 before the Penguin game (they lost 2-1 in OT) was over and Root Sports picked up the game.

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