BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) – Gerrit Cole pitched into the fifth inning in Pittsburgh’s 6-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Monday and likely will need one more start in Florida before joining the Pirates’ rotation.
Cole worked 4 2-3 innings and gave up two runs and eight hits. He walked one and struck out four.
It was only the second Grapefruit League outing for Cole, who was slowed in the first week of camp by a sore ribcage. He indicated he needs another outing, likely on Saturday in a minor league game, to get up to speed for the season.
In four innings against a lineup constructed mostly of backups, Twins right-hander Tyler Duffey allowed four runs on four hits and three walks. He is competing with Ricky Nolasco for a rotation spot.
Trying to win a bench spot, Matt Joyce hit a solo homer and an RBI double for the Pirates. Joyce, a nonroster invitee who hopes to make the team as a fourth outfielder, has homered in three of his past seven games.
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