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Gerrit Cole's 2016 debut a disappointment as Pirates lose 5-1

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David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates struggled in Gerrit Cole's 2016 debut Saturday afternoon, getting tagged with their first loss of the year as they fell 5-1 to the Reds.

There wasn't much to write home about here. Cole got in trouble right away, giving up consecutive hits to Billy Hamilton and Eugenio Suarez for one run to start the game and giving up an RBI single to Jay Bruce later in the inning. Cole gave up another run in the fifth and left the game before completing the inning but not before throwing 100 pitches. Along the way, he struck out four and allowed three walks. Not a great start, but hopefully we can just chalk that up to cobwebs, or horrible weather, or variance, or something, and move on.

Meanwhile, the Pirates' offense couldn't do much against Raisel Iglesias and a series of Reds relievers. The Bucs batted 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position, wasting opportunities provided by Francisco Cervelli, who reached base four times, along with John Jaso, Gregory Polanco and Josh Harrison, who each had two hits. Jordy Mercer in particular had a rough day, lining into one double play, grounding into another and leaving seven men on base.

Oh well. The Bucs can still win the series with a victory tomorrow afternoon.