Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pirates 10, Mariners 1 Cole's Complete Game a Modern-Day Treasure Goes Distance for 1st Time in Career; Mccutchen, Kang Enjoy Big Nights

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pirates 10, Mariners 1 Cole's Complete Game a Modern-Day Treasure Goes Distance for 1st Time in Career; Mccutchen, Kang Enjoy Big Nights

Article excerpt

Josh Harrison usually pays more attention to the opposing starter's pitch count than that of his teammate, but he stole a glance at Gerrit Cole's number in the ninth inning Wednesday night at PNC Park.

"I think I saw like 82," Harrison said. "I was like, aw, we're good."

Using efficiency as his main weapon, Cole pitched his first career complete game, a 10-1 victory against the Seattle Mariners. In nine innings, he allowed one run and three hits, and he struck out six without walking a batter.

"It was good," Cole said. "It's a really good feeling."

Cole threw 20 pitches in the first inning, then needed no more than 13 in an inning the rest of the way. Six of his nine innings required fewer than 10. He threw 93 pitches, 69 for strikes.

The crowd began to sense he would go the distance when he batted in the eighth, cheering as he approached the plate. Robinson Cano reached on an error with one out in the ninth, but eeeeeeeeHarrison initiated a game-ending double play from the ground. Cole threw his hands up after the final out.

"He earned the opportunity," manager Clint Hurdle said. "There's no flat-out way I can take him out of that game."

The Pirates had 14 hits, seven for extra bases. Andrew McCutchen went 3 for 5 with a home run, a double and four RBIs. Jordy Mercer went 3 for 5 with a double, Jung Ho Kang drove in four runs, and Starling Marte and David Freese each had two hits.

"Good pitches to hit," McCutchen said. ". A lot of times, we hit pitcher's mistakes. I got a mistake to hit tonight."

When Cole is right, he's a difference--maker. The Pirates lacked his services from mid-June until after the All-Star break due to a triceps strain. He scuffled in his first start back, but has looked like himself in the past two - two runs allowed, with one walk and 13 strikeouts, in 15 innings.

"Even his last start, he asked me how he looked," McCutchen said. "I said, 'Bro, you looked pretty darn good.' And then [Wednesday], he looked even better."

Cole neutralized a Mariners lineup featuring six left-handers and a switch-hitter among position players. He changed their eye level with high fastballs and low curves. …

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