|4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, May 17, 2017
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Attendance: 18,803
Bell, Cole lead Pirates past Nationals
(TSX / STATS) -- PITTSBURGH -- Gerrit Cole hasn't received much run support from the Pittsburgh Pirates' offense this season.
On Wednesday night against the Washington Nationals, his teammates made him wait for it, but Josh Bell hit a three-run homer in the sixth and the Pirates added three more in the seventh in a 6-1 victory at PNC Park
Cole (2-4) didn't exactly need a lot of help. He held the Nationals to one run, three hits and two walks over his seven innings. He struck out three and didn't allow any Nationals player to reach base more than once. Cole extended his streak of quality starts to eight.
The key for Cole was not trying to do too much against the high-powered Washington offense.
"He followed his game plan extremely well," manager Clint Hurdle said. "The game plan set up before the game was to work efficiently, throw first-pitch strikes and create weak contact. Textbook. Followed it from start to finish."
The three hits allowed by Cole and the Pirates' bullpen represented a season-low for the Nationals.
"If you start staring at the batting averages and the names on the back of the jerseys, it can be a little overwhelming, but you just have to stick with the process and control what you can control," Cole said.
Before Wednesday, the Pirates were providing Cole with just two runs per nine innings while he was on the mound this year. That contributed to his sub-.500 record despite his sparkling ERA, which he lowered to 2.84.
"It was a good outing," said Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. "We were finally able to get him some run support. He's been throwing the ball well. We were happy to be able to do that for him."
Bell's 398-foot blast to the seats in right field was his eighth of the season and was the only damage against Washington spot starter Jacob Turner (2-2).
Turner was cruising until he ran into trouble in the sixth inning.
John Jaso walked, McCutchen hit into a fielder's choice and David Freese reached on a hit batsman before Turner served up a 3-1 fastball that Bell turned into a souvenir.
"Obviously, Bell hit the home run, everybody is going to look at that," Turner said. "How those (other) guys got on base, stuff like that can't happen. I've got to be better in that situation."
The Pirates added on in the seventh inning against the Washington bullpen with a McCutchen two-run double and a Francisco Cervelli sacrifice fly.
McCutchen stole two bases and scored two runs. It was his first multi-steal game of the season. McCutchen's batting average had fallen to .206 after Tuesday's 0-for-4 night, during which he was removed as part of a double switch. A day later, he is back up to .214, and some of his bad luck seems to be turning around.
"He shows up every day and works," Hurdle said. "Today, he was able to get some results. It's a game where -- more often than not -- everybody judges you on results. Nobody cares if you hit balls hard. Nobody cares if you make good outs."
The only Washington offense came from a Brian Goodwin RBI double in the seventh that scored Daniel Murphy from first base.
"It was the fifth or sixth inning before we kind of went, 'What happened?'" Washington manager Dusty Baker said. "Turner deserved better."
Felipe Rivero and Juan Nicasio each pitched a scoreless inning for the Pirates to seal the win.
NOTES: Pirates OF Gregory Polanco was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Polanco injured himself running to first base against Arizona on Sunday and left the game. OF Danny Ortiz was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to replace Polanco. Ortiz was hitting .253 in 27 games with Indianapolis. He entered as a sub Wednesday and drew a walk. ... Pirates RHP Felipe Rivero (sore neck) was back in action for the first time since Saturday. ... Nationals RHP Joe Blanton was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to right shoulder inflammation. Blanton was 0-2 with a 9.49 ERA. Washington recalled LHP Matt Grace from Triple-A Syracuse, his fourth recall this season. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth.
Updated May 17, 2017