Big inning backs Cole; Bucs win seventh straight

Rookie’s won all four decisions; McCutchen homers, drives in three

By Tom Singer /

Garrett ColeThe Cole Train had a little trouble leaving the station Friday night. But like the Nolan Ryan Express before him and Walter “Big Train” Johnson way before him, when Gerrit Cole hit the open tracks, there was no stopping him.

Cole overcame a three-run first and finished with five shutout innings in pacing the Pirates to a 10-3 win over Milwaukee, their seventh win in a row.

And, as Ryan Reid was putting the finishing touches on a rarity — a three-inning save — those trying to make out the yells of a PNC Park sellout crowd of 36,875 were hearing double.

It was indeed hard to tell whether the fans were going with the old stand-by, “Let’s Go Bucs!” or the newer cry, “We’re Number One!”

Both would have been fitting, because the Bucs improved their Major League-best record to 49-30.

The club’s fourth consecutive sellout crowd squirmed through Cole’s rough start to cheer the rest of his historic outing.

“It was a little weird out there in the first,” Cole said, “but my focus did not change after giving up those runs. I just wanted to keep grinding it out. Stuff doesn’t go your way early, you still have to keep the same approach. Then you can definitely walk away with your head held high.”

Cole wound up going six innings, allowing eight hits and three runs, to become the first Pittsburgh pitcher to win his first four starts since Nick Maddox in ’07 … that’s 1907.

Streaking right along, the Bucs at least maintained their share of the NL Central lead (co-leader St. Louis had a late game on the West Coast). The Pirates also improved to 9-0 following scheduled off-days.

Cole refused to place his personal success in any context other than that of his team.

“It has to do with how well we’re playing,” he said. “We’re just playing really well. Nothing crazy, for the most part just being opportunistic at the plate. When you play with that swagger, you put a lot of pressure on the other team.”

Starling Marte went 3-for-5, falling a homer shy of the cycle, and Andrew McCutchen drove in three runs, falling a triple shy of the cycle, as the Bucs ran circles around right-hander Johnny Hellweg, making his Major League debut, and three Milwaukee relievers.


Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates – June 28, 2013 | PIT Recap.



Categories: A-NATIONAL LEAGUE, National League Happenings

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