(SportsNetwork.com) - Gerrit Cole will try to rebound from his first loss of the season on Monday evening when the Pittsburgh Pirates open up a four-game set with the hosting Philadelphia Phillies.
Cole had allowed just three earned runs over a recent four-start winning streak, but gave up three runs on eight hits and two walks in five innings of a 3-0 setback to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. It was his shortest outing since also going five against the Reds in his season debut on April 8, a no- decision.
The 24-year-old righty fell to 4-1 with a 2.27 earned run average on the season and has split two previous career starts against the Phillies while posting a 2.61 ERA.
Cole's loss was part of a five-game losing streak for the Pirates from May 1-6, but they have won three of their last four since and took two of three from the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend.
Pittsburgh secured the series win with a 4-3 victory on Sunday. Jung Ho Kang homered and later knocked in the winning run in the seventh inning with a single.
Jordy Mercer and Gregory Polanco each drove in a run for the Pirates.
"I think these two wins (in the series) were a big-time team effort," Mercer said.
The Phillies have lacked some big efforts of late, having lost four of their past five games. They lost their second game in a row on Sunday with a 7-4 setback to the New York Mets.
Grady Sizemore and Cesar Hernandez each posted two hits and an RBI for the Phillies, while Jeff Francoeur drove in a run in defeat.
Chad Billingsley became the first Phillies pitcher to homer since Cole Hamels on July 21, 2012, but also allowed five runs over five-plus innings to suffer the loss.
"We lacked shutdown innings today all the way through the game," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg admitted. "Every time the offense would bounce back and we'd close or threaten, we wouldn't be able to keep numbers off the board."
Right-hander Jerome Williams gets the call for the Phillies tonight off his worst start of the campaign.
Williams was rocked in a 7-5 loss at Atlanta on Wednesday, charged with a season-high six runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out three without giving up a walk in his shortest outing of the campaign, dropping to 2-2 with a 5.18 ERA this season.
"Wasn't what I wanted tonight," said Williams. "Fifth inning unraveled a little bit for me."
Williams has made six career starts against the Pirates and is just 1-4 with a 4.37 ERA.
The Pirates have won six of seven and 12 of their last 16 versus the Phillies. They are 8-2 in their past 10 trips to Philadelphia.