After Carlos Martinez got the best of the Pirates in the first game of an important NL Central battle on Thursday, it was Gerrit Cole’s turn last night. Cole allowed two runs over seven innings as the Pirates defeated the Cardinals 5-2 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
Cole held St. Louis to five hits while walking two and striking out three. The only offense against him was a two-run homer from Matt Carpenter in the third inning.
Neil Walker led the charge for Pittsburgh’s offense, going 3-for-4 with a two-run homer. Lance Lynn gave up five runs in just four innings of work in the loss. Mark Melancon finished off the win for Pittsburgh with his MLB-leading 29th save.
Cole leads the majors with 13 wins and has an excellent 2.30 ERA and 116/28 K/BB ratio in 117 1/3 innings this season.
With the win, the Pirates are 4 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central. The series will continue tonight with a matchup of John Lackey and A.J. Burnett.
Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:
White Sox 1, Cubs 0
Cardinals 2, Pirates 5
Yankees 5, Red Sox 1
Diamondbacks 2, Mets 4
Athletics 1, Indians 5
Astros 1, Rays 3
Reds 1, Marlins 0
Nationals 2, Orioles 3
Padres 3, Rangers 4
Blue Jays 3, Royals 0
Braves 3, Rockies 5
Tigers 6, Twins 8
Brewers 2, Dodgers 3
Angels 7, Mariners 3
Phillies 2, Giants 15
ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.
Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.
The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.
The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.
Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.
Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).