Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cole looks to keep Bucs from 0-2 start vs. Reds

Young Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole gets an early chance to reaffirm his early reputation as a stopper when the Pirates and Reds continue their season-opening series on Wednesday night at 7:10 p.m. ET following Tuesday's off-day. Cole, who will be matched against Cincinnati right-hander Mike Leake, is tasked with avoiding the Bucs' first 0-2 start since 2006, when they went 0-6 out of the gate. In Cole's first season-and-a-half in the Majors, 11 of his 21 wins have followed losses.
Things to know about this game
• The Pirates have performed well in games following scheduled off-days, since manager Clint Hurdle made it a project: 10-6 in 2014, and 22-11 the last two seasons.
• Leake has not been handed a loss vs. the Pirates since May 5, 2012, and he has a 5-0 record and 3.42 ERA in the last 13 games he started against them. He was 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA in five 2014 starts vs. Pittsburgh, but the Reds dropped all four of his no-decisions.
• Jay Bruce was in the six-hole, hitting behind Marlon Byrd, in the Reds' batting order Monday against left-hander Francisco Liriano, and the two will swap slots for the righty Cole.

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