Pirates’ Cole Tucker finally gets a real hit off Fernando Rodney
Cole Tucker said his single that started the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 13th-inning rally Sunday wasn’t the first time he faced the Oakland A’s Fernando Rodney. Only the first time he’s hit against the 42-year-old relief pitcher in the flesh.
“I played against Fernando Rodney a ton, growing up, in video games,” said Tucker, 22. “It’s way easier in video games, I promise.”
The single sparked the Pirates’ 5-3 come-from-behind victory, but it only lifted the Pirates’ rookie shortstop’s batting average to .208 after he brought an 0-for-12 slump to the plate in the 13th.
Perhaps juiced by his seven assists and Starling Marte’s game-winning home run three at-bats after his single, Tucker was as pleased as any .400 hitter when he met reporters after the game.
“I needed that,” he said. “To go up there and put a good swing on the ball meant a lot.”
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .