Gerrit Cole, who had been criminally under-supported recently, getting just five runs of support from the Pittsburgh Pirates over his last five starts, had to throw six scoreless innings against Washington tonight before a three-run home run by Josh Bell gave the Bucs’ starter a lead to work with in PNC Park.
Nationals’ starter Jacob Turner matched Cole through five scoreless on the mound, but ran into trouble in the sixth, putting two on in front of Bell, then giving up the blast on a 3-1 fastball.
Bell’s eighth of 2017 put the Pirates up 3-0, and they went on to a 6-1 win that evened things up in the three-game set with the Nationals.
Rubber match tomorrow at 12:35 PM EDT in PNC Park. Tanner Roark vs Tyler Glasnow.
Nationals now 25-14
HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:
• Gerrit Cole (57 pitches) and Jacob Turner (52 P) were involved in an old fashioned pitchers’ duel through four with the Pirates’ starter allowing just one hit and the Nationals’ right-hander giving up two.
• Cole needed 21 pitches to get through the sixth, working around a leadoff walk to complete his sixth scoreless frame at 84 pitches overall.
• Turner walked the first batter in the bottom of the sixth inning, and hit David Freese with an 0-2 fastball to put two runners on with one out. Josh Bell stepped in next and got all of a 3-1 fastball that he sent out to right for a three-run home run that made it 3-0 Pirates. Bell’s 8th of 2017. A one-out walk on Turner’s 89th pitch ended his night.
• Jacob Turner’s Line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 89 P, 49 S, 12/1 GO/FO.
• Blake Treinen gave up a single after taking over for Turner, but stranded two batters to keep it a three-run game, 3-0 Pirates.
• Daniel Murphy connected for the Nationals’ second hit with one out in the seventh and he scored one out later when Brian Goodwin hit a 1-1 curve off the out-of-town scoreboard in right for an RBI double that made it 3-1 Bucs. Goodwin got picked off second base by Pirates’ catcher Francisco Cervelli to end the inning, however.
• Adam Frazier singled off Oliver Perez to start the Pirates’ seventh, stole second base, and after a walk to John Jaso, scored on a two-run single to right field off Matt Albers by Andrew McCutchen, who made it a 5-1 game with a fly to right that bounced off of the out-of-town scoreboard. McCutchen scored on a sac fly to right by Cervelli that put the Pirates up 6-1 after seven.
• Gerrit Cole’s Line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 98 P, 70 S, 9/4 GO/FO.
• Former Nationals’ reliever Felipe Rivero tossed a scoreless, eight-pitch eighth.
• Trea Turner started the night with one error on the season, but committed two tonight, the second a throwing error on a routine grounder in the Pirates’ eighth.
• Juan Nicasio finished things off in the ninth, 6-1 Pirates final.
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Washington holds a 44-36 advantage over Pittsburgh since baseball returned to the nation’s capital in 2005, with a streak of seven straight wins between 2014-15 giving the Nationals an advantage.
- Since 2014, the Pirates are 7-5 against the Nationals in PNC Park and 13-11 in their home park against the Nats since 2011.
- Washington’s 25-13 record heading into play tonight was the NL’s best and the second-best in the majors, behind only the Houston Astros (28-12).
- The Nationals’ offense started the night leading the majors in runs scored (232), AVG (.284), OBP (.358), SLG (.492), hits (.384), doubles (83) and RBIs (228).
- With their loss last night, Pittsburgh has dropped 11 of their last 16 games.
- Pirates’ outfielder Josh Harrison, who homered off Stephen Strasburg early last night, entered play today with a .367 AVG in PNC Park this season and hits in seven of his last eight games.
- Bryce Harper started the night with a .388/.503/.676 line on the season, and Harper, according to Elias, is one of only two players since 2003 to have 13 home runs and an on-base percentage over .500 through 35 games. The other? Jose Bautista, who hit 16 with a .509 OBP through 35 games in 2011.
- Jayson Werth started the night with a nine-game on-base streak, over which he’s 16 for 35 (.457 AVG).
Nationals now 25-14