Gerrit Cole kept the ball in the park but it didn't matter as the Marlins peppered him early and often, to the tune of eleven hits and seven runs in just four and two thirds innings.
The game was over in the first. Leadoff hitter Dee Gordon bunted for a single, stole second and went to third on catcher Elias Diaz' throwing error. After Giancarlo Stanton walked, Gordon was doubled home by the left handed batting Christian Yelich. Cole bore down to strike out right handers Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto, but lefty Derek Dietrich doubled to drive in two more.
Facing former teammate Edinson Volquez, fresh off a no-hit complete game victory over the Diamondbacks, the Pirates loaded the bases in the bottom of the first when Josh Harrison bunted for a single, David Freese walked and John Jaso was hit by a pitch, but Andrew McCutchen was called out on strikes to end the inning. From there, Volquez continued his Johnny Vandermeer impersonation, not allowing another hit until Harrison doubled in the sixth. The third and only other hit allowed by Volquez was Josh Bell's seventh inning double. At the end of that inning the Miami starter left after having thrown 111 pitches.
Cole settled down in the second and third, allowed a run in the fourth on consecutive doubles by Dietrich and Tyler Moore, then was chased in the fifth after five consecutive two out singles.
The game seemed to go quickly despite the Marlins' run total, but then again I dozed off during the middle innings. Clint Hurdle lost interest as well, having sent Triple-A vets Phil Gosselin, Jose Osuna, Max Moroff and Jacob Stallings in as defensive replacements by the time I awoke. In white-flag duty, Jhan Marinez tossed two scoreless innings, Daniel Hudson one, and the just recalled Dovydas Neverauskas sat at 98 mph as he labored through a scoreless ninth, aided by a double play grounder.
Cole threw 66 of 94 pitches for strikes (70%) as he walked one and struck out five, and had eight groundouts to go with a single fly out, but nearly everything in the air went for a hit. Left handed batters, which had regularly driven the ball over the fence in his last three stats, combined to go 6-for-12 with three doubles.
Tomorrow night at 7:05 the cascade of former Bucs' hurlers continues as Vance Worley (0-2, 6.59) faces Tyler Glasnow (2-5, 6.97) at PNC Park.