Pittsburgh Pirates Begin Road Trip With A Win Over Arizona Diamondbacks


The Pittsburgh Pirates made it three in a row Friday night as starter Gerrit Cole went seven-plus innings, and the Bucs downed the Diamondbacks 4-1 in Arizona.

More from Pittsburgh Pirates

Clint Hurdle‘s squad elevated their record over .500 for the first time this season to 9-8.

Cole (3-0) threw 78 of his 108 pitches for strikes over seven 2/3 innings of work. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound righthander scattered seven hits and surrendered just one earned run. He struck out seven and walked just two batters.

Neil Walker went two-for-four at the plate, and drove in two of the four runs. The Pirates got on the scoreboard in the top of the first when Walker hit a ground ball to right off D-backs starter Josh Collmenter and scored Josh Harrison.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound second baseman added an insurance run in the eighth with a double to center off Arizona reliever Evan Marshall that permitted Andrew McCutchen to come home.

The other two runs came with two out in the second when Harrison doubled to center to drive in Jordy Mercer and Cole. He was out at third when he tried to stretch his hit into a triple.

Collmenter saw his record drop to 1-3 as he surrendered three earned runs, struck out three, and walked none in six innings for Arizona. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound righthander threw 55 of his 86 pitches for strikes on the night.

The D-backs were able to put up a run in the home half of the sixth as Chris Ownings singled on a ground ball to second that scored Paul Goldschmidt. Hurdle challenged the tag play at the plate, but the call on the field was upheld.

Jared Hughes came in from the Bucs bullpen in the eighth, and struck out one as he finished the inning for Cole. Mark Melancon picked up back-to-back saves in claiming his fourth of the season. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound righthander hurled six of his nine pitches for strikes.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Hurdle said on the team’s web site. “I think we’re going to stay focused on playing our game, versus our record. But it’s always better to be over than under.”


Up Next: The Pirates and the Diamondbacks play the middle contest of their three-game set on Saturday. The first pitch is set for 8:10 p.m. Arizona (8-8) will go with right-hander Rubby De La Rosa (2-1, 6.00 ERA) and the Bucs will send A.J. Burnett (0-1, 2.00 ERA) to the hill.

The 38-year-old righthander will be making his fourth start of the season. His last start was a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 5-2 loss to the Cubs Monday at PNC Park. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound veteran ranks second behind C.C. Sabathia for the most strikeouts among active pitchers since making his debut in 1999. The game will be on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

From The Clipboard: The time of the game was 2:41 and the attendance at Chase Field in Phoenix was 24,427…The Bucs are 6-5 this season when the starting pitcher throws six innings or more…There has been a change along the base lines this season as Nick Leyva is coaching at first base after serving as Clint Hurdle’s third base coach the last four years. Rick Sofield is coaching at third after serving as the first base coach the last two seasons.

Next: Penguins get it over with, and maybe it's for the best