Gerrit Cole had another decent outing, but the Pittsburgh Pirates offense couldn’t get anything going against the opposition.
Yovani Gallardo shut down the Bucs’ bats as the Milwaukee Brewers took the series against the Pirates with a 4-0 victory on Thursday night at PNC Park.
“You look at Gallardo’s track record since he’s come off the DL, he’s pitched extremely well, he’s been efficient,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He changes speeds, he stays out of the middle, there’s late life [on pitches]. We couldn’t connect the dots, we put some guys on base for that big hit, but it didn’t happen.”
Cole gave the Pirates seven and one-third innings, gave up 10 hits, four runs and racked up four strikeouts. Other than the newly acquired John Buck who contributed with three singles in his Pirates debut, the Bucs’ offense couldn’t give Cole any offensive support.
“I was proud of the effort, I was proud of the resiliency because he was kind of getting pushed into a corner,” Hurdle said. “From my vantage point, the fifth, sixth and seventh were the best innings he’s thrown for us all year.”
Cole struggled a bit finding locations in the early innings, and the Brewers capitalized on the mistakes.
Jonathan Lucroy singled and brought in Jean Segura in the first inning, and Khris Davis drove in Carlos Gomez in the second to put the Brewers up 2-0 early on.
“There was a good handful [of pitches] there that I made that just fell in for hits, and there’s a handful sprinkled in that weren’t very good,” Cole said. “They probably could’ve capitalized more, but we played really good defense and turned a lot of double plays on ground balls.”
Aramis Ramirez continued his consistency against the Pirates in the fourth, belting a solo shot in the top half to give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead.
The Brewers extended their lead to 4-0 in the seventh when Lucroy struck again, hitting a sacrifice fly to bring in Scooter Gennett.
“I feel good physically, I really started to get in the groove there later in the game,” Cole added. “I just started to get the feel back of where I wanted to miss with pitches as opposed to some balls that came back over the plate.”
Newly acquired John Buck had praise for Cole’s start as well, along with tallying three hits in his debut.
“He made some very quality pitches in tough situations,” Buck said. “He was able to bear down and made pitches when he needed to, to get some very crucial double plays.”
With the loss, the Pirates fall to one game behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the N.L. Central going into a series with the Cards this weekend.