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Sports

Cards’ Cole blanks Pirates in 7 innings

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS – Gerrit Cole grew up in Southern California admiring John Lackey. A native of Orange County, Cole was 12 when he rooted Lackey on to victory in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series at Angel Stadium.

Cole (16-8) got his first chance to face Lackey on Sunday night and could not have been much better. The 24-year-old righty gave up two hits in seven scoreless innings, and the Pittsburgh Pirates used home runs from Aramis Ramirez, Sean Rodriguez and Starling Marte to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-1.

“I watched him growing up and everybody knows what a competitor he is and we knew we were in for a fist fight when we saw he was penciled in,” Cole said.

The second-place Pirates cut the Cardinals’ lead in the NL Central to 5 1/2 games and earned their first series victory at Busch Stadium since April 2013. The teams are 8-8 against each other with one series to play at Pittsburgh in the final week of the season.

Even the 37-year-old Lackey was impressed with Cole, who threw a 99 mph fastball on his 94th pitch.

“He’s a great pitcher right now,” Lackey said. “He’s got great stuff and pitched really well.”

Asked how it felt to know now that Cole was pulling for him in the World Series against the San Francisco Giants, Lackey said: “I guess I’ve been around a while. I knew he went to UCLA so he probably grew up an Angels fan. That’s cool.”      

 

vuukle comment

ACIRC

ANGEL STADIUM

ARAMIS RAMIREZ

BUSCH STADIUM

GERRIT COLE

JOHN LACKEY

ORANGE COUNTY

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

SEAN RODRIGUEZ AND STARLING MARTE

WORLD SERIES

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