Looking to stop their four-game losing skid and potentially win #82, the Pirates took on one of the top pitchers in the American League, Yu Darvish, on Monday night.
However, Darvish wasn’t the only pitcher on display… You have to tip your cap to Gerrit Cole. The Bucco rookie went out and dominated a tough Texas lineup, cruising for seven innings of shutout ball. His final line: 7.0 IP, 0 runs, 3 hits, 9 K, 2 BB. One day after turning 23, Cole totally silenced the Rangers. He would only need one run, and that’s exactly what the Pirates provided in the seventh inning.
Although Adrian Beltre was protecting the third base line in the “no doubles” defense, Marlon Byrd slipped a liner into the left field corner for a two-out two-bagger. Pedro Alvarez, who hasn’t been too hot recently, smoked Darvish’s 2-2 fastball into the left-center gap to bring home the Byrdman. 1-0, good guys.
Tony Watson shut down the Rangers in the eighth, then Mark Melancon came in the ninth to close it out. With two outs and Beltre on first, designated hitter A.J. Pierzynski fittingly grounded one to Pittsburgh native Neil Walker for the final out.
Greg Brown on the call:
Twenty years of misery and heartbreak are finally behind us. The Pittsburgh Pirates are winners again.
Pirates (82-61) – Rangers (81-62)
Win: Cole (7-7)
Loss: Darvish (12-8)
Save: Melancon (12)