Video: Gerrit Cole hit a no-doubt home run, the first of his career

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Pirates starter Gerrit Cole struck out eight Cubs over six innings at Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon, but that wasn’t his only contribution to his team’s win, which combined with a Brewers loss to the Cardinals, moved the Pirates back into second place in the NL Central.

In the top of the seventh, with a runner on second base and one out, Cole smoked a Blake Parker first-pitch fastball near the top row of the bleachers in left field, a no doubt two-run home run to push the Pirates’ lead to 10-2. It’s the first home run — and extra-base hit — of the 23-year-old’s career. Among pitchers with at least 30 plate appearances this season, Cole has the third-highest OPS at .569. He trails Travis Wood (.739) and Madison Bumgarner (.726).

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On the pitching side, Cole got the win, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits. He struck out eight without issuing a walk.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.