Pirates conclude wild suspended game with win, drop 2nd of series
CINCINNATI — Mike Leake and Gerrit Cole met once before.
When Cole was a freshman at UCLA and Leake a junior at Pac-10 rival Arizona St., Leake outdueled Cole late that May en route to leading the Sun Devils to a conference title. They might not remember their first meeting well, but they long will remember their past two days at Great American Ball Park.
On Tuesday, Leake once again got the best of Cole. The 2009 first-round pick outpitched the first overall pick of the 2011 draft and also doubled and homered off Cole to lead the Reds to a 7-5 victory Tuesday and split of the first two games of the series.
The game capped a bizarre and historic 27 hours in Cincinnati.
Before Cole (2-1) and Leake (2-1) took the mound, the Pirates and Reds completed the first game of the series with 23 1⁄2 hours, 10 home runs, a half-inch of overnight snow and a lunar eclipse elapsing after it had begun. The home runs were the most in a major league game since 2006, but it was a Russell Martin seventh-inning RBI single that was the decisive hit in an 8-7 Pirates win to compete a game that had been suspended.
The second game completed was unusual in its own right.
The Pirates caught only one runner stealing, speedster Billy Hamilton. Neil Walker hit a home run right-handed, just the fifth of his career. And Cole had a rare hiccup — all of this transpiring under a full moon.
“It came down to fastball location,” Cole said. “I've pitched without a breaking ball before and have been able to move the ball inside and out. There was really nothing to find. Slider was out over the plate. Curveball didn't have any pullback. Nothing established outside. Nothing established inside. Kind of wishy-washy over the middle of the plate.”
Cole's first start against the Reds was the worst of his career. For the first time in 22 regular-season starts, Cole allowed more than four runs. He allowed five runs — all earned — over six innings. He walked three and surrendered nine hits.
Cole missed few bats and struggled to control the running game as the Reds went 3 for 3 in steal attempts.
Leake missed plenty of Pirates bats, striking out eight and walking one over 6 2⁄3 innings. Some of the loudest contact against Cole came from Leake, who ripped a 93 mph two-seam fastball into the left-field seats for a two-run home run in the sixth that gave the Reds a 5-2 lead.
“(Leake) is a good hitter,” Cole said. “I've seen that at Arizona State. He wore us out on the mound and at the plate at Arizona State. … I'm 0-2 against him now.”
Todd Frazier also hit a two-run, opposite-field home run off Cole to give the Reds the lead that inning as Cole became familiar with the hitter-friendly dynamics of the Reds' home park.
“We can't build something out of every game he pitches, ‘What does it mean?' ” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He's got to find a way to compete … where those sixth innings don't multiply like that where a two turns into four.”
Cole, a Southern Californian native, said the game-time temperature of 38 degrees was not a factor.
The Reds added two runs off Justin Wilson in the seventh, which were critical as Walker launched his fifth home run of the season in the eighth to cut the deficit to 7-5.
Walker and Gaby Sanchez accounted for a pair of back-to-back home runs in the series' first game, joining Toby Atwel and Jerry Lynch as the only Pirates to hit back-to-back home runs twice in a game. They first accomplished the feat April 27, 1954. The Pirates became the third team in major league history to produce three sets of back-to-back homers.
The 10 combined home runs Monday marked the first time at least 10 home runs had been hit in a game since the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs combined for 11 home runs at Wrigley Field on June 18, 2006.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Pederson had to go at Pitt
- Pederson’s 2nd tenure as the athletic director at Pitt comes to abrupt end
- Steelers, young and old, thirst for opportunity to reach the postseason
- Chryst returns home, named football coach at Wisconsin
- QB Smith is chief concern for Steelers’ defense
- Steelers notebook: Brown leads WRs in Pro Bowl voting, Bell 2nd at RB
- Demolition project at Oliver’s Pourhouse in Greensburg moves forward
- Home of LeNature’s exec up for sale
- Philly DA says no affidavits claimed by AG Kane in bribery case existed
- Toast of the Town: Explore Lawrenceville’s many watering holes
- Briefs: New Stanton beer distributorship changes hands