Pittsburgh Pirates, Cole fall 7-4 to Brewers
The Pittsburgh Pirates started the series against the Milwaukee Brewers with a 7-4 loss on Tuesday. Jimmy Nelson befuddled the Pirates’ hitters over seven innings of work while Gerrit Cole had a rare off night and didn’t pitch deep into the game. The loss puts the Pirates at 79-51, fortunately still in the mix for the NL Central Division title.
Cole had one of the shortest outings of his career, lasting just four innings on Tuesday. The damage was done right away in the first inning when the first four hitters in the Milwaukee lineup got on base. Scooter Gennett and Jonathan Lucroy singled and Ryan Braun followed them up with a RBI base hit . Adam Lind contributed a double to clear the bases and give the Brewers a quick three-run lead. The damage was not done, as Jean Segura added an infield single to give the Brewers another run when Lind scored, making the score 4-0.
The Brewers put another run on the board in the second when Lucroy smacked a run-scoring single and Elian Herrera crossed the plate. The Pirates were finally able to get to Jimmy Nelson for one run in the fifth with a run-scoring single by Neil Walker that brought in Jung Ho Kang who had doubled earlier in the inning.
Cole’s night ended after four innings, after giving up a total of five runs on eight hits with only two strikeouts. Jared Hughes pitched a scoreless fifth inning and Radhames Liz followed him with another two innings of keeping the Brewers off the board. Pedro Alvarez hit his 22nd home run of the year to bring the Pirates to within three runs in the Pittsburgh half of the eighth inning, but the Brewers answered immediately.
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The Brewers added two more runs in the eighth with a two-run single from Jean Segura off of Joakim Soria. Soria gave up two runs in just two-thirds of an inning of work before handing the ball off to newly-recalled Bobby LaFromboise, who was thankfully able to record the last out of the inning. In the top of the ninth, the Pirates received back-to-back solo home runs from Aramis Ramirez (14) and Kang (13), but ultimately fell short of the win.
What Stood Out
Cole’s short outing stands out most from this game, especially with how quickly the Brewers got to him. He fell behind right away and wasn’t able to recover, giving up an uncharacteristic five runs in one game. He also only struck out two hitters, which is a lower number than he usually registers per start. Cole will look to rebound from this start in his next one against St. Louis.
The Pirates saw three players hit home runs, again showing what the offense is capable of on any given night. However, the three home runs were all solo shots, so the Brewers were able to limit the damage. Had Pittsburgh been able to get some runners on, the game may have ended in their favor.
The series in Milwaukee continues on Wednesday at 8:10 PM when Jeff Locke and Zach Davies face off. Locke is coming off of a great start in Miami on August 26th, when he limited the Marlins to just one run over seven innings of work. Davies was traded at the deadline to the Brewers from the Baltimore Orioles and will be making his MLB debut on Wednesday. The Pirates have struggled this season against pitchers who they have little-to-no experience facing, so hopefully that trend will be reversed against Davies.