Home Pittsburgh Sports College Football Cole Comes Up Big in Debut, Pirates Down Giants 8-2

Cole Comes Up Big in Debut, Pirates Down Giants 8-2

Gerrit Cole pitched into the seventh inning in his debut and Pedro Alvarez and Starling Marte homered as the Pirates beat the San Francisco Giants 8-2 at PNC Park on Tuesday night. Cole drove in two runs for his first two career RBI, threw 81 pitches, struck out two batters and only allowed two runs in his debut.

Gerrit Cole lived up to the hype in his first Major League start. A key factor in the Pirates 8-2 victory over the reigning World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, Cole was brilliant in six and a third innings of work. He stayed aggressive through the entire Giants lineup, his fastball hitting even 98 and 99 MPH into the seventh inning.

Leaving to a standing ovation in the seventh was one of the highlights for Cole.

“I was trying not to look up because I felt like I was going to smile,” Cole said. “And that would not have looked hard or cool, you know?”

Either way, he deserved to smile after his start. Manager Clint Hurdle echoed how impressed he was with Cole handled himself in the big leagues.

“We’re gonna let him pitch,” Hurdle said. “I think he showed you tonight he’s capable of pitching. First pitch strikes were exceptionally well, 13 hitters retired in three pitches or less. Only one three ball count tonight.”

“His pace, focus, he maintained all the way to the end,” Hurdle added. “He just challenged them, he went after them. He just went after them to get outs, and that’s what he was able to do tonight.”

Despite pitching well, Cole emphasized how important his teammates were to his start—mostly his defense and catcher.

“You can’t ask for a better defensively played game or enough runs,” Cole said. “I can’t say enough about what Russ did, being able to get me to calm down and get me in the zone and just use my stuff. I feel like I owe him a lot.”

“Neil with the great play up the middle, Pedro with a few of those slow rollers and double plays, that’s what they are there for—just letting them make plays and get them off the field and into the dugout to keep swinging it. That’s all I’m trying to do,” Cole added.

And he did just that. Before entering the seventh, Cole had retired 13 straight batters before allowing the two lone Giants scoring runners on base. It was a moot point because the Bucs’ offense completely dominated Giants’ starter Tim Lincecum and the rest of the San Francisco pitching staff.

Cole helped himself out in the bottom of the second inning. With the bases loaded, he smashed a 2-strike fastball into right center to bring home Russell Martin and Pedro Alvarez.

“I don’t know, I just got lucky,” Cole said with a smile about his base knock. “It was just luck.”

Luck or not, it sparked the rest of the Buccos’ offense. With Andrew McCutchen on base in the fifth, Garrett Jones brought him around to score with a line drive into right field. Hunter Pence misplayed the ball, and it rolled behind him as McCutchen and Jones rounded the bases.

Alvarez reached on an infield single just past shortstop Brandon Crawford in the next at bat, bringing home Jones and putting the Pirates up 4-0.

Starling Marte joined the offensive assault in the sixth, belting his sixth homer on the season and putting the Bucs up 5-0.

After the Giants closed the gap to 5-2 in the top half of the seventh, the Bucs tacked on some insurance runs in the bottom half. With McCutchen and Jones on base, Martin belted a single to center to bring in Cutch, but Jones was thrown out at third on the play trying to swipe an extra bag.

Alvarez collected his third hit on the night in the next at bat, crushing a towering home run into the right field seats off Giants reliever George Kontos, giving the Pirates an 8-2 lead.

Bryan Morris cruised the rest of the way for the Pirates, throwing the last two innings for the Bucs and only giving up one hit.

Overall, it was a team win for the Buccos and a good start for Gerrit Cole.

“What we saw in spring training from Gerrit was his professionalism,” Neil Walker said of his young teammate.

“There was no ‘deer-in-the-headlight’ look from him at all. He worked quick, he worked efficiently and he threw strikes. That’s all good things for us.”

On Deck:

The Pirates play the second of a three game set against the Giants Wednesday at PNC Park. Francisco Liriano (4-2, 1.75 ERA) gets the ball against Barry Zito (4-4, 4.06 ERA) with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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