Gerrit Cole overcame a rocky start to become the first Pirates pitcher to win his first four career starts in more than a century and Starling Marte missed the cycle a few feet short of a home run in Pittsburgh’s 10-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
Cole (4-0) gave up three runs in the first inning but no more as he made it through six innings, allowing eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Nick Maddox started 4-0 in his first four starts in 1907.
Johnny Hellweg (0-1) failed to get out of the second inning in his major league debut, giving up seven runs – five earned – in 12⁄3 innings.
Marte had a double and triple among his three hits, and just missed a homer in the eighth when he flied out to deep center field.
Andrew McCutchen had three hits, including his ninth home run, and three RBIs for Pittsburgh. Pedro Alvarez added two hits and Neil Walker hit a two-run double to start a seven-run second inning in which the Pirates sent 12 batters to the plate.
Alvarez extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Ryan Reid pitched three scoreless innings for his first career save.
Carlos Gomez, who missed the previous three games with a sprained right shoulder, had two hits for the Brewers. Jean Segura and Juan Francisco also had two hits apiece. Rickie Weeks ran his hitting streak to 13 games.
Walker’s double got the Pirates to 3-2, scoring Garrett Jones and Alvarez, who led off with singles.
The Pirates then loaded the bases as Hellweg walked Travis Snider and Cole around a groundout by Jordy Mercer. Marte then singled home Walker with the tying run.
The Pirates went ahead when Russell Martin followed by hitting a grounder up the middle that Segura, the shortstop, misplayed for an error, allowing Snider and Cole to score. McCutchen and Alvarez followed with RBI singles to knock the
6-foot-9 Hellweg from the game.
Milwaukee acquired Hellweg and Segura, who leads the National League with 104 hits, last July from the Los Angeles Angles in a trade for ace pitcher Zack Greinke. Hellweg was 7-4 with a 2.82 ERA in 14 starts with Triple-A Nashville this season.
The Brewers jumped on Cole for three quick runs.
A walk to Norichika Aoki and singles by Segura and Gomez loaded the bases and Aramis Ramirez walked to force in a run. A second run scored when Jonathan Lucroy grounded into a double play and Francisco capped the inning with an RBI single.
However, the 3-0 lead held up only for one inning and the Pirates added on runs following their seven-run second. Marte hit an RBI double in the third and tripled in the sixth and scored on McCutchen’s double. McCutchen homered off Michael Gonzalez in the eighth.
Notes: Brewers 1B Corey Hart will miss the season. He is scheduled to have surgery to repair cartilage damage in his left knee July 26. Hart has been on the disabled list all season after having right knee surgery in January. . Snider left the game after six innings with a bruised right foot. . Milwaukee activated RHP Hiram Burgos from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Nashville. . The Pirates recalled INF/OF Josh Harrison from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned C Tony Sanchez to the same club. . Milwaukee RHP Donovan Hand (0-0, 2.37) faces Pittsburgh LHP Francisco Liriano (6-3, 2.30) on Saturday night.