CINCINNATI — On his 10th try, Gerrit Cole finally beat the Cincinnati Reds. And he pretty much had to do it by himself.
“That’s the old thing: When something like this happens, you joking say he Little Leagued them,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He shut ’em out and hit a homer. That’s impressive.”
Cole (11-8) was 0-6 against Cincinnati in nine starts, including a loss earlier this season. He broke through by holding down a lineup that had scored nine runs the previous night. Cole gave up five hits, didn’t walk a batter and fanned six.
He also connected for his first homer of the season and the third of his career off Luis Castillo (2-7) in the sixth, getting around on a 95 mph fastball. It was Cole’s first homer since May 26, 2016, against Arizona at PNC Park.
Cole has had so little practice at his home run trot that he stumbled rounding second base.
“I almost broke my ankle at second base and I think (Cincinnati’s) Scooter Gennett was laughing at me,” Cole said. “It doesn’t happen very often. It’s cool being in the box and hearing the sound off the bat.”
The last time an opposing pitcher homered to beat the Reds 1-0 was 1983, when the Dodgers’ Bob Welch connected off Mario Soto, according to information from the Elias Sports Bureau provided by the Reds. It was the first time in Pirates history that a pitcher drove in all Pittsburgh’s runs in a shutout victory.
“I made a mental mistake,” Castillo said. “He was leading off and I threw a fastball right down the middle and he hit it out of the park.”
Cole is 8-0 in his last nine road starts. The last Pirates pitcher to win eight straight road decisions was Don Robinson in 1982.
Juan Nicasio and Felipe Rivero completed the five-hitter, with the left-hander getting his 15th save in 16 chances.
The Pirates won for only the third time in 13 games against their Ohio River rivals this season, and did it with minimal offense. Pittsburgh hit just four balls out of the infield — including Cole’s homer — in seven innings against Castillo, who matched his career high by fanning nine.
Pittsburgh has lost 10 of its last 14 games, fading out of the NL Central race. The last-place Reds are 16-26 since the All-Star break.
Cincinnati left fielder Adam Duvall threw out Josh Bell at the plate as he tried to score on David Freese’s single in the fourth inning. It was the 13th time Duvall has thrown out a baserunner this season, the most by a major league outfielder. Duvall’s 13 assists are the most by a Reds outfielder since Jay Bruce had that many in 2013.
It was the 21st 1-0 game in Great American Ball Park’s 15-year history. … Joey Votto’s streak of reaching base in 29 straight games was snapped. … Eugenio Suarez’s career-high 10-game hitting streak ended.
RHP Nefi Ogando was reinstated from the 60-day DL and outrighted to Triple-A Louisville. He’s been sidelined since April 2 with a sprained right thumb.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli went back on the 10-day DL with a sore left thigh. He came off the disabled list Friday after recovering from a sore wrist, and hurt his thigh while running the bases. C Elias Dias was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. … OF Gregory Polanco, on the DL for the second time because of a strained left hamstring, did some agility drills and took batting practice but isn’t close to returning. … Wade LeBlanc, on the DL with a strained left thigh, threw 45 pitches in a simulated game. He’s eligible to be activated on Monday.
Reds: RHP Homer Bailey expects to start Wednesday against the Mets. He left his outing last Tuesday against the Cubs after only three innings because of discomfort in the back of his pitching shoulder. The Reds are giving him a couple extra days to recover.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon is 1-2 in his career against the Reds with a 7.01 ERA. He’s made three starts against them this season, going 0-2 while allowing 16 runs in 14 2/3 innings.
Reds: RHP Tyler Mahle makes his major league debut. Chad Wallach, who caught him at Triple-A Louisville this season, will be behind the plate. Wallach’s father, former major leaguer Tim Wallach, is planning to attend. Wallach is a Marlins coach.
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