Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bad Start Sets Up Sour Homecoming Cole's Slump Continues as Diamondbacks End Pirates' 4-Game Winning Streak Diamondbacks 4, Pirates 1

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Bad Start Sets Up Sour Homecoming Cole's Slump Continues as Diamondbacks End Pirates' 4-Game Winning Streak Diamondbacks 4, Pirates 1

Article excerpt

It probably wasn't a good sign for Pirates starter Gerrit Cole that three of the first seven batters he faced Monday night hit the ball off the outfield wall for extra-base hits.

But a rough patch early doesn't necessarily translate into a bad outing for Cole. He has often shown the uncanny ability to shake it off, settle in and dominate opposing hitters for the next six or seven innings.

That was not the case, Monday. Cole never founds his comfort zone. He labored through 6? innings, giving up four runs and nine hits as the Pirates lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-1, before a crowd of 27,365 at PNC Park.

The loss halted the Pirates' four-game winning streak.

The Pirates (69-47) fell six games behind the St. Louis Cardinals (76-42) in the National League Central Division and lead the Chicago Cubs (67-49) by two in the wild-card race.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Cole showed some guts but also said Cole's pitch location early is what got him in trouble.

"I thought it was [a gutsy outing]," Hurdle said. "He didn't get out of the gates very clean, his fastball command and his slider weren't as sharp as we have seen from him. That is a good offensive club, and we made some mistakes over the plate early and they were able to put the barrel on the ball.

"I thought he actually pitched better as the game went on. But the execution of his pitches weren't in the spots we wanted to get them."

A.J. Pollack hit a ball off the Clemente Wall in right get things started for the Diamondbacks in the first, and he scored when David Peralta hit an RBI double off the same wall. Peralta took third on a passed ball and scored on a Welington Castillo single for a 2-0 lead.

In the second, Chris Owings doubled off the center-field wall and scored on a bloop single by pitcher Jeremy Hellickson for a 3-0 edge. …

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