Game two of the Pirates three-game series against the Rockies was a pitching duel between two of the best starting pitchers for each team in a Pirates 5-2 victory.
Gerrit Cole registered a huge bounce back outing, with seven strong innings for the Pirates just five days after failing to complete the fifth inning for the second time in his last four starts. Cole struggled some with his command, as he registered only 60 strikes in 100 pitches thrown on the night. When he needed to make a pitch, he made it. Especially later in his outing, when he would face Rockies cleanup hitter Mark Reynolds with two outs and a runner at third in the sixth inning, and Rockies pinch hitting star Alexi Amarista, with runners at second and third with two outs in the seventh inning. Cole induced a pop out to himself off the bat of Mark Reynolds, and he got Amarista swinging on one of his best breaking pitches of the night. Despite the three walks, and a couple errors made by Cole, he was able to pitch a very strong outing to help the Pirates earn their longest winning streak of the season. Cole’s only blemish, came on a fifth inning single by Tony Wolters with Trevor Story running on the pitch. Story came across to score on a close play at the plate, to score the only run that the Rockies would get against Cole in the first seven innings of the ball game.
The Pirates would get on the board first in this game, when Andrew McCutchen hit a two-strike slider out of the ballpark to left center field. That would be the only run that the Pirates would get against Tyler Chatwood, as he would pitch six strong innings with six hits allowed, one earned run, one walk and five strikeouts.
The Pirates would break a one to one tie as soon as Chatwood left the game, in the bottom of the seventh when Jaso hit a one out two-run home run to give the Pirates a three to one lead. The Pirates would add to this lead in the very next inning, when McCutchen hit his second home run of the game following a Josh Bell walk against Jordan Lyles. This home run put Cutch at the .255 mark and the .792 OPS mark as he makes his climb back to stardom.
With the Pirates in position to earn a save after taking a three to one lead, Felipe Rivero entered the game in the ninth inning despite the fact that McCutchen had extended the lead beyond a save situation. Rivero would give up his first earned run in quite some time, when Story hit a two out RBI single to center field to cut the Pirates lead to five to two. Rivero quickly got the final out to extend the Pirates winning streak to four games in a row. With the win, the Pirates improved to 30-35 on the season, while the Rockies dropped to 41-26.
Tune in tomorrow night at 7:05, to see Chad Kuhl (5.63 ERA/4.12 FIP) take the mound to face German Marquez (4.44 ERA/3.93 FIP) and the Rockies. The Pirates will be looking to extend their season long winning to streak to five games, and Kuhl will be looking to earn his second win after losing that opportunity despite a good outing in Baltimore his last time on the mound.