The Pirates quietly lost to the Mets on Sunday in their last game before the All-Star Break, 4-2.
Gerrit Cole went five innings, striking out five and walking two, but the Bucs never recovered from the Mets' three-run first inning, which featured an RBI double by Marlon Byrd on a hanging slider, and a two-run single by John Buck.
"(Cole's) command wasn't what it needs to be to set the tone of the game," Clint Hurdle said.
Cole was starting in place of Jeff Locke, who was out with back tightness. Cole said he had been preparing to pitch Sunday since his previous start. So if you're wondering why Cole wasn't sent down for the All-Star Break, that's probably why.
"We knew a lot sooner than you guys (did)," Cole said.
The Bucs scored one in the third, as Cole hit an infield single and ended up at second after a throwing error, then came home on Starling Marte's ground-rule double.
The Mets added an insurance run off Jeanmar Gomez in the seventh when Eric Young Jr. singled and David Murphy brought him home with a triple. (Gomez then got two groundouts to strand Murphy.)
The Pirates put their first two men on in the eighth, but managed only one run, which came on Jose Tabata's groundout.
David Manel contributed to this post.