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Cole hopes to bounce back against Brewers
(SportsNetwork.com) - Gerrit Cole tries to get himself back on the winning track Sunday when the Pittsburgh Pirates conclude a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park.
Cole had his six-start winning streak dating back to last season stopped on Tuesday in Cincinnati, as the 23-year-old righty allowed a career-most five runs and nine hits in six innings, dropping him to 2-1 to go along with a 4.74 ERA.
"Frustrating game," Cole said. "Balls up, not being able to put guys away with two strikes, giving up the lead. Those two home runs in the sixth kinda let the game get away.
"I felt early I was getting some swings through the breaking pitch, but then I wasn't able to get it in the right spot with two strikes. It came down to fastball location. Nothing established inside or outside ... everything kinda wishy-washy over the middle of the plate."
Cole has faced the Brewers three times and is 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA.
Milwaukee will counter with righty Marco Estrada, who is 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA. Estrada suffered his first loss of the season on Tuesday against St. Louis, which reached him for three runs and five hits in six innings.
"It was a grind, a mental battle with myself," Estrada said. "It was more trying to get through my delivery. My mechanics were off, and I kept thinking about it."
Estrada is 8-5 lifetime against the Bucs with a 2.06 ERA in 11 games (8 starts).
Milwaukee won its second straight from the Bucs on Saturday, as Ryan Braun's second homer of the night proved to be the difference in the Brewers' 8-7 win.
Jean Segura singled with one out in the ninth and Braun hammered the first pitch he saw from Jason Grilli (0-1) to center to give the Brewers a one-run lead.
"You can't give up a hit in that situation. You either put him away or waste a pitch," Grilli said. "That bothers me more than the home run."
Jim Henderson (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth and earned the win, while Francisco Rodriguez closed the door in the ninth for his sixth save of the season and 310th of his career to tie Hall of Famer Goose Gossage for 20th place on the all-time saves list.
"It's hard when Grilli comes into the game, It's hard to get a run off him," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. "We won another game that we probably shouldn't have won. Our offense has been incredible."
Braun had three hits with RBI and four runs scored, while Jonathan Lucroy went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored in the win, Milwaukee's third in four games..
Milwaukee starter Matt Garza allowed six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Jose Tabata and Ike Davis each collected two hits for Pittsburgh, while Clint Barmes and Travis Snider knocked in two runs apiece in the setback. Davis was acquired from the Mets on Friday for a minor league pitcher Zack Thornton and a player to be named later.
04/20 06:46:59 ET