Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Gerrit Cole outdueled Yu Darvish and the
Pittsburgh Pirates edged the Texas Rangers, 1-0, to secure their first winning
season since 1992.
Cole (7-7) allowed just three hits -- all singles -- and two walks over seven
terrific innings. The rookie struck out nine in his 16th career start and
helped the Pirates put a four-game losing streak in the rearview mirror.
Pittsburgh was swept by the St. Louis Cardinals in a three-game series over
the weekend but pulled within one game of the NL Central leaders.
Pedro Alvarez broke a scoreless tie with a two-out double in the seventh
against Darvish (12-8), who was handed the loss despite allowing just four
hits and one walk in seven innings of work.
The clubs came into this three-game interleague series sporting identical
81-61 records with strong leads in the their respective wild card races, and
it played like a playoff matchup from the opening pitch.
Cole and Darvish matched zeroes before the Pirates rallied with two outs in
the seventh. The newly-acquired Marlon Byrd reached on a double down the left-
field line, and Alvarez followed with a line drive base hit up the middle to
push across the game's first run.
Texas' best chance against Cole came in the sixth when Adrian Beltre stranded
runners on second and third with a groundout to short.
Tony Watson set down the Rangers in order in the eighth, and Mark Melancon
shook off a two-out single in the ninth to cap the shutout and his 12th save.