Rookie Gerrit Cole was able to break a three-game skid by beating the Washington Nationals Tuesday. Now the 22-year-old-right-hander will try to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a win over the Miami Marlins in the rubber match of a three-game set at Marlins Park.
Cole, the first overall pick of the 2011 draft, threw seven innings in his last start. He's won both of his road starts and has pitched to a 2.03 ERA in those contests. That includes limiting the Nats to a pair of hits and a run over seven innings his last time out. Cole has never faced the Marlins.
Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez has yet to lose at home and is coming off a win at Colorado Tuesday when he allowed five hits and two runs over seven innings. The righty also had eight strikeouts.
Fernandez, who will take the mound three days ahead of his 21st birthday, is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA in nine games at Marlins Park.
The Pirates expect to have Russell Martin back behind the plate today. Martin hurt his left knee during a collision at home plate Friday night and was held out of Saturday's contest.
Michael McKenry, Martin's replacement, finished 4-for-5 with two RBI to help lift the Pirates to a 7-4 win last night.
Neil Walker collected three hits, two of which were doubles, with two RBI and scored twice while Garrett Jones drove in two runs as well for the Pirates, who snapped a two-game skid.
"I thought as a whole group we swung the bats really well," McKenry said. "Our bullpen came in and shut the door tonight. It was fun."
Charlie Morton (3-2) was charged for four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits with six strikeouts over five innings to earn the victory.
Tom Koehler (2-6) was tagged for five runs on nine hits with three walks in five frames. He remains winless at Marlins Park with an 0-5 record in 13 games, including six starts, since breaking into the majors last year.
"You kind of make your own luck when you fall behind guys and they're looking for the fastball, looking for a certain pitch," Koehler said. "That kind of creates the bad luck. If you get ahead of those guys in those situations maybe the outcome is different as far as what pitch they're looking for and how they put the ball in play."
Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton each went 3-for-4 with an RBI while Placido Polanco and Donovan Solano each drove in a run for the Marlins, who lost for just the second time in their last six games.
Last year, the Pirates won four of the five games between the clubs. Miami, though, has won 14 of the last 20 encounters.