Originally posted on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 8/2/13
The Pittsburgh Pirates' pitching staff looked nothing like the best in the majors Thursday, but Gerrit Cole's steady improvement offers hope things will be much different Friday night. The Pirates try to forget about their most lopsided loss of the season by giving the ball to Cole in the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Colorado Rockies. Pittsburgh (65-43) came into Thursday with a 3.03 ERA, the best in baseball by more than a quarter-run, after holding St. Louis to seven total in opening a five-game series with four wins. The wheels came off in the finale, as starter Charlie Morton surrendered five runs in six innings before the bullpen was responsible for an eight-run seventh in a 13-0 loss that cut the Pirates' NL Central lead over the Cardinals to 1 1/2 games. "We had kept the cat in the bag for four games," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Tonight, we let it out." Pittsburgh's past two starters allowed a total of 20 hits - the club's worst back-to-back showin...
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