Manager Clint Hurdle said it best following the Pirates 8-2 win over the San Francisco Giants tonight. “It was a big night for the organization.”
Yes it was.
The Pirates improved to 38-26 season and all eyes were on Gerrit Cole (1-0, 2.84 ERA) who didn’t disappoint. Cole pitched a shutout into the seventh inning, and allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, winning his MLB debut. Cole began the night with a three pitch strikeout of Gregor Blanco, blowing Blanco away with three straight fastballs of 96, 96, and 99. In the first inning Cole hit 99 once and 98 twice. Cole had two strikeouts and did not walk a batter in the win.
Cole threw six scoreless innings to open the game and retired 13 straight batters at one point. He was tagged for two runs in the seventh inning with the Pirates leading 5-0. Cole threw 81 pitches, 59 for strikes.
While Cole had a strong debut on the mound, he helped the Pirates jump out to a 2-0 lead, hitting an RBI single to right in the bottom of the 2nd, scoring Russell Martin and Pedro Alvarez.
Alvarez went 3 for 3 with a home run in the win. Starling Marte also homered and Andrew McCutchen and Russell Martin each had two hits.
The last time the Pirates had at least 38 wins through their first 64 games was 1992.