Charlie Morton leaves game with left foot discomfort

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It has been a forgettable weekend for the Pirates.

They lost to the Cardinals by a score of 12-8 on Friday night, 5-0 on Saturday night and are trailing again in Sunday’s series finale at Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. Charlie Morton made the start Sunday but left with two outs in the second inning due to what is being termed as left foot discomfort.

Morton allowed five earned runs on six hits and two walks before exiting. He had a 1.74 ERA over his last six starts entering the crucial outing against the first-place Cards but looked completely overmatched.

The Pirates haven’t won a game since securing their first .500 season since 1992.

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

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Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.

It is no surprise, then, to hear that Cole is the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cole got there in 133 1/3 innings. The only pitcher faster than Cole was Randy Johnson, who reached 200 K’s in 130 2/3 innings back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks.

Along with the 205 strikeouts, Cole holds an 11-5 record with a 3.03 ERA across 136 2/3 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Charlie Morton (2.61), Mike Minor (2.86), José Berríos (2.96), and teammate Justin Verlander (2.99) have a better ERA than Cole, who has twice finished in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.