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(Monday, September 9th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 1, Texas 0
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Gerrit Cole outdueled Yu Darvish and the Pittsburgh Pirates edged the Texas Rangers, 1-0, to secure their first winning season since 1992.
Cole (7-7) allowed just three hits -- all singles -- and two walks over seven terrific innings. The rookie struck out nine in his 16th career start and helped the Pirates put a four-game losing streak in the rearview mirror.
"He was fantastic tonight," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Pittsburgh was swept by the St. Louis Cardinals in a three-game series over the weekend but pulled within one game of the NL Central leaders.
Pedro Alvarez broke a scoreless tie with a two-out double in the seventh against Darvish (12-8), who was handed the loss despite allowing just four hits and one walk in seven innings of work.
The clubs came into this three-game interleague series sporting identical 81-61 records with strong leads in the their respective wild card races, and it played like a playoff matchup from the opening pitch.
"Both (pitchers) did a great job. Yu battled, but they came out ahead," Rangers catcher Geovany Soto said.
Cole and Darvish matched zeroes before the Pirates rallied with two outs in the seventh. The newly-acquired Marlon Byrd reached on a double down the left- field line, and Alvarez followed with a line drive base hit up the middle to push across the game's first run.
Texas' best chance against Cole came in the sixth when Adrian Beltre stranded runners on second and third with a groundout to short.
Tony Watson set down the Rangers in order in the eighth, and Mark Melancon shook off a two-out single in the ninth to cap the shutout and his 12th save.
The Rangers have scored five runs or less in a season-high 10 straight games ... Darvish has dropped three consecutive starts for the first time in his two-year MLB career ... The Rangers are hosting the Pirates for the first time since sweeping a three-game set in June of the 2010 season.
09/10 02:03:57 ET