The Times West Virginian

Pirates

September 25, 2013

Cole, Pirates take wild-card lead, beat Cubs

CHICAGO — Already assured a playoff spot, the Pittsburgh Pirates are pushing for even more.

Gerrit Cole threw six strong innings and the Pirates took over the NL wild-card lead, beating the Chicago Cubs 8-2 Tuesday night.

The Pirates moved one game ahead of Cincinnati, which lost to the Mets 4-2. Pittsburgh remained two games behind NL Central-leading St. Louis.

One night after clinching their first postseason spot in 21 years, Cole and the Pirates showed no signs of losing momentum. Cole hit a two-run single against Chris Rusin (2-6), Pedro Alvarez drove in three runs and Jordy Mercer homered.

“I had every confidence that we’d go out and play a good ballgame,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “The men are focused, they’re having fun and the opportunity to gain this kind of experience, we’ve been getting in all year long, this has added to it.”

Pittsburgh is trying to add to what’s already been a breakout season, and Cole did his part.

Cole (10-7) won his fourth straight start, giving up two runs and seven hits. He struck out six and walked one and became the first Pittsburgh rookie since Josh Fogg in 2002 to win at least 10 games.

“It just kind of felt like I had different stuff every inning. It was weird,” Cole said. “The pace of the game was slow. I’m not going to complain about scoring a lot of runs, that’s for sure, but it was definitely a new challenge with the cold weather and the long innings. I had to do some different things in there.

“It was great to be able to learn from that and take that into some really meaningful games,” he said.

Chicago started the bottom of the second inning with three consecutive hits from Dioner Navarro, Nate Schierholtz and Donnie Murphy, but a baserunning error and double play helped Cole hold the Cubs off the scoreboard.

Schierholtz was tagged between first and second on his single when Navarro stopped at second, and Brian Bogusevic grounded into an inning-ending double play to keep the Cubs scoreless.

The Cubs tried to rally in the sixth, scoring when Mercer mishandled Anthony Rizzo’s bases-loaded grounder to shortstop and cutting Pittsburgh’s lead to 6-1.

But Cole struck out Navarro and pinch-hitter Luis Valbuena before Donnie Murphy flied out deep on Cole’s 34th pitch of the inning and his last one of the night.

“Those are the experiences for growth you can only get by getting the opportunity to compete, and to get the last fly ball out. He spilled the tank out there and it again it shows that there’s fight in that young man,” Hurdle said.

“He doesn’t have to show up with every weapon sharp to go out and pitch competitively and pitch good enough to win,” he said,

The Cubs, meanwhile, haven’t been good enough to win for most of this season.

They lost for the 11th time in 14 games, and their 50th defeat at home set a team record. Chicago plays its Wrigley Field finale Wednesday.

“To lose that many games at home, it’s something you got to stay away from. For whatever reason, we got to score more runs at home and do something at home,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “This year has just been tough, just seem to do more things on the road than we have at home.”

Rusin lost his third straight decision. Alvarez opened the scoring when his second-inning double to right got stuck in the ivy, driving in Marlon Byrd. With two outs, Cole singled home Gaby Sanchez and Alvarez.

Mercer hit a solo shot in the third, connecting for his seventh homer and first since Aug. 22.

“We’re still trying to win our division. That’s what we’re shooting for, so we’re trying to win out here and just keep going for the next four games,” star outfielder Andrew McCutchen said.

NOTES: Hurdle said struggling All-Star Jeff Locke won’t pitch Sunday against Cincinnati, and said Cole could “potentially” start that day while RHP Charlie Morton would be on his regular rest Saturday. But Hurdle didn’t formally announce his starters after A.J. Burnett on Friday. Locke is 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA in four September starts. ... Logan Watkins started at second base, and Sveum said Darwin Barney was just getting a day off and would be back in the lineup Wednesday. Barney is hitting .156 in 20 September games. ... McCutchen didn’t seem to enjoy too much of the champagne from Monday night. “After a while, it’s a little too cold for me, but I’ll take it,” he said. “I think next time, we should just leave it hot.” ... The pitching matchup Wednesday is Pittsburgh LHP Francisco Liriano (16-7, 2.88) against Chicago RHP Jake Arrieta (3-2, 3.94).

 

1
Text Only
Pirates
  • Pirates’ slide continues in 2-1 loss to Cincinnati

    The Pittsburgh Pirates are five games under .500 less than a month into the season but they insist there is no reason to panic.
    Ryan Ludwick lined a two-run double after two Cincinnati batters were hit by pitches, lifting Tony Cingrani and the Reds over the Pirates 2-1 on Thursday.

    April 25, 2014

  • Simon, Bruce lead Reds past Bucs, 5-2

    Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control, Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Wednesday night.
    Simon (3-1) worked 6 2-3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four.

    April 24, 2014

  • Volquez outdueled; Pirates fall to Reds, 4-1

    Edinson Volquez spent four years watching Johnny Cueto evolve into one of the National League’s best pitchers when the two were teammates in Cincinnati from 2008-11.

    April 23, 2014

  • MLB suspends four from Pirates-Brewers brawl

    Major League Baseball has suspended four players involved in last Sunday’s brawl between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers.

    April 23, 2014

  • Davis’ slam leads Pirates over Reds, 6-5

    Ike Davis became the first player to hit grand slams for different teams in the same April, and Neil Walker had a winning run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates twice overcame deficits to beat the Reds 6-5 Monday night.

    April 22, 2014

  • MAIN - Brewers Pirates Baseb_time (4).jpg Pirates fall to Brewers for sixth time in young season

    Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braun homers twice, rallies Brewers over Pirates, 8-7

    Ryan Braun hit two homers, including a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 Saturday night.
    Braun has five home runs this season after being suspended for the last 65 games of 2013 following Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

    April 20, 2014

  • Brewers’ Lohse beats Pirates again

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 19, 2014

  • Bucs trade for Mets’ Ike Davis

    The New York Mets traded slumping first baseman Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night, parting ways with a power hitter who proved to be too inconsistent at the plate.
    Pittsburgh sent minor league right-hander Zack Thornton and a player to be named to New York for the 27-year-old Davis.

    April 19, 2014

  • McCutchen, Alvarez lead Pirates over Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.

    April 18, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads