(SportsNetwork.com) - Gerrit Cole will try to snap a four-start winless streak on Wednesday afternoon when the Pittsburgh Pirates conclude a three-game series with the San Francisco Giants.
Cole is 0-2 in four starts since winning his first two outings of the season, though he pitched well enough to claim victory twice over his drought. The right-hander gave up just a single run in both a no-decision versus Milwaukee on April 20 and a 1-0 setback to St. Louis five days later.
Cole, though, lasted just a season-low five innings on Friday against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, charged with four runs on seven hits and a walk in a no-decision as Pittsburgh claimed a 6-5 win.
The 23-year-old is 2-2 with a 3.69 earned run average on the season and beat the Giants the only other time he faced them. That came on June 11 of last season, with Cole giving up two runs over 6 1/3 frames of a victory.
Cole got the best of Giants starter Tim Lincecum and will square off with the former NL Cy Young Award winner again this afternoon. Lincecum gave up four runs -- two earned -- over 4 2/3 innings in that outing and is 2-3 lifetime versus the Pirates with a 4.46 ERA in seven meetings.
Lincecum is unbeaten in four straight outings since giving up seven runs in just four innings of a loss to Arizona on April 9.
The 29-year-old righty has still struggled getting deep into games as he matched a season high with six innings pitched in a 2-1 triumph at Atlanta on Friday. Lincecum gave up a run on six hits and three walks while striking out four and moving to 2-1 on the season with a 5.12 ERA.
"I was just trying to get in a good rhythm," Lincecum said. "Today it turned out pretty good."
A series victory is on the line Wednesday afternoon as the Pirates bounced back from an 11-10 extra-inning setback on Monday with last night's 2-1 victory.
The game appeared headed to extra innings again as there was two outs in the bottom of the ninth before Starling Marte tripled to right off the Giants' Tim Hudson. Second baseman Ehire Adrianza's throw to third on the play got away and Marte raced home, only to be called out on a head-first slide.
However, Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle challenged the play and the umpires reversed the call as the Pirates avoided a third straight loss.
The Giants, meanwhile, had a six-game winning streak snapped and lost for only the second time in 12 games.
"That's the kind of baseball we live in I guess nowadays with the replay," said Hudson, who was charged with just one unearned run on five hits over 8 2/3 innings. "You never know what the outcome is going to be until you get the final conclusion."
Marte went 2-for-4 and scored both Pittsburgh runs, while Charlie Morton yielded one unearned run over eight frames of work. Tony Watson tossed a scoreless top of the ninth to get the win.
"I always want to go deep into games," said Morton. "I always want to max out any pitch count that I might have. I always want to get as many innings as I can."
Pittsburgh went 4-3 against the Giants last season, although the teams were even in runs scored (36-36) for the season series.