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05/07/2014 4:51 PM EDT
Cole, Pirates beat Giants 4-3 to take 2 of 3
PITTSBURGH 4, SAN FRANCISCO 3

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- As the game went on, Gerrit Cole's fastball
got faster, and the San Francisco Giants couldn't catch up.

Cole won for the first time in nearly a month, and the
Pittsburgh Pirates beat San Francisco 4-3 Wednesday for their
second straight win over the Giants.

Cole (3-2) beat Tim Lincecum for the second time in his 11-month
major league career, allowing three runs and seven hits in eight
innings with seven strikeouts and a walk. The No. 1 pick in the
2011 amateur draft, Cole had a fastball clocked at 95-96 mph to
begin the game and was 97-98 over his final two innings.

"Really solid, solid effort for him," Pirates manager Clint
Hurdle said. "Pushing through the eighth inning, the middle of
the order, was very impressive. He's capable of a lot of things
out there. You saw the velocity stay at a much higher level
today throughout the game, and actually his velocity played
bigger later than it did earlier."

Fill-in closer Mark Melancon worked a perfect ninth for his
second save in three chances. Centerfielder Andrew McCutchen
made a diving catch of Brandon Crawford's soft liner to
left-center for the second out.

Pittsburgh has won four of six after a 1-7 slide, taking two of
three in the series. San Francisco had won 10 of 11 before the
Pirates' replay-aided walkoff win Tuesday. Pittsburgh scored all
its runs over the first two innings Wednesday.

"We're starting to click on all cylinders now," said Pirates
catcher Chris Stewart, who had two hits. "The pitching is
starting to come around, and we're starting to get those hits in
those big situations that we weren't before".

Ike Davis had three hits for the Pirates. Brandon Belt hit his
ninth home run and drove in all three runs for San Francisco.

Cole had been 0-2 in four starts since winning his first two
outings. He pitched eight innings for the second time this
season, throwing 107 pitches, one shy of his season high.

Cole, who went 1 for 3 to maintain a .333 batting average, won
his major league debut at home last June 11 against Lincecum, a
two-time NL Cy Young Award winner.

Lincecum (2-2) allowed four runs, eight hits and two walks in
four innings. Opponents are hitting .329 against him.

"I wasn't finishing my pitches, especially my secondary
pitches," he said. "When I got ahead in the count, the secondary
pitchers were just rolling up there and had no bite on them. I'm
the type of guy who's going to have to get guys to chase
pitches, but I can't do that when I'm leaving balls up in the
strike zone that are so hittable."

McCutchen had a run-scoring single in the first and came around
on Starling Marte's double. Travis Snider made it 4-1 with a
two-run single in the second.

Belt homered on the first pitch he saw with two outs in the
first, then hit a two-run double with two outs in the fifth. But
Belt was thrown out at third on the play, ending the threat.

"That was a mistake," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

NOTES: 3B Pablo Sandoval was not in the starting lineup after
sustaining what Bochy termed a sprain of his hand or thumb
during the final play of Tuesday night's game. He pinch hit for
Lincecum in the fifth and singled. ... Neil Walker had a
second-inning single has has reached safely in all 15 home games
he's played against San Francisco ... The Giants headed to Los
Angeles for a four-game series against the Dodgers that starts
Thursday. San Francisco's starter in the opener, RHP Ryan
Vogelsong, has allowed one earned run over 13 innings in his
past two starts. ... The Pirates host St. Louis this weekend in
a series that includes the first ESPN Sunday night game in PNC
Park's 14-year history.

TOP TEN WAGERS
RK Team
1
San Francisco Giants
2
Boston Red Sox
3
Kansas City Royals
4
Chicago Cubs
5
New York Yankees
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