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Gerrit Cole strong in Pirates' loss to Twins

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USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates fell behind in the eighth when Kris Johnson allowed two walks and a single and lost to the Twins, 2-1, on Saturday, but Gerrit Cole pitched four strong innings before that. Cole struck out four, walked none, and allowed only one batter to score. It was a pure Rickey Run by leadoff hitter Aaron Hicks, who reached on an infield single, stole second, then went to third and home on groundouts.

Justin Wilson relieved Cole and was also excellent, striking out five while allowing two hits in three innings.

The position players had three errors (two of those by Clint Barmes) and only had four hits, but I'll take a strong performance by Gerrit Cole every day of the week before I'll worry much about that. Alex Presley reached base four times, going 2-for-2 with two doubles and two walks.