Cole, Pirates continue series with Athletics

Gerrit Cole tries to bounce back from the first loss of his major league career on Tuesday when the Pittsburgh Pirates continue their three-game series against the Oakland Athletics at PNC Park.

Cole had been the first Pirates pitcher to open his career with four straight wins in over 100 years, but absorbed his first loss on Thursday to Philadelphia, despite a decent effort that saw him allow three runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"I thought he pitched well," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's a 22- year-old young man. He's still learning, continuing to grow. He's fun to watch."

Cole will also be trying to help the Bucs beat the A's for the first time.

Oakland improved to 10-0 all-time versus the Pirates in Monday's opener, as Bartolo Colon tossed seven solid innings to help the Athletics to a 2-1 victory.

Colon (12-3) had an eight-start winning streak stopped last Wednesday in a loss to the Cubs, but rebounded nicely as he gave up just one run on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts.

Josh Donaldson scored a run and drove in one while Derek Norris also had an RBI for the Athletics, who have won four of their last five overall.

Jeff Locke (8-2) was looking to become the first Pirates lefty to win nine games in a row in 88 years, but fell short as he surrendered two runs on three hits over seven frames.

"I think as we continue to give him opportunities, he'll continue to show you who he is and what he can do," Hurdle said about Locke. "That's probably one of the better right-handed hitting lineups set up for a left-hander pitcher that he's seen this season. I thought he kept them in check."

Jose Tabata had two hits and drove in the only run for the Pirates, who have dropped three straight and five of seven.

Hoping to hang another loss on the Pirates Tuesday will be hard-throwing right-hander Dan Straily, who is 5-2 with a 4.52 ERA. Straily won his fourth consecutive decision on Thursday with a dominating effort against the Chicago Cubs, as he allowed only one hit over seven scoreless innings. He also struck out six and walked three in the win.

"Even if I didn't have my best stuff, I was going to give it everything I had," said Straily. "My slider was not as sharp as it's been but it was good enough."

This is the first series between these clubs since 2010.