PITTSBURGH (AP) — Drew Storen made a good first impression on his new team, pitching a 1-2-3 sixth. However, the next inning tainted the reliever’s debut with the Seattle Mariners.
Storen was charged with four runs in 1 1/3 innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates put the game out of reach on their way to a 10-1 rout of the Mariners on Wednesday night.
Gerrit Cole pitched a three-hitter and slumping Andrew McCutchen had a three-run home run to help Pittsburgh hand Seattle its third loss in eight games.
Storen relieved James Paxton (3-5) to begin the sixth inning with the Mariners trailing 3-1 and got three ground-ball outs. However, he walked Starling Marte with the bases loaded in the seventh inning to force in a run and was lifted in favor of Nate Karns, who gave up a three-run double to Jung Ho Kang.
Storen, the one-time Washington Nationals’ closer, has rarely been used for multiple innings in his career but did not use the length of his outing as an excuse.
“A couple innings didn’t go my way and that’s part of it but for me it’s about throwing the ball good and that’s what I did,” Storen said. “Stats might not look good, but from a stuff standpoint and how I threw it, I’m happy with it.”
Storen struggled with the Blue Jays after being acquired from the Nationals in an offseason trade, posting a career-worst 6.31 ERA in 38 games. Yet, Mariners manager Scott Servais was pleased with what he saw.
“He’s going to help us, no doubt, but I probably tried to extend him too much tonight,” Servais said.
Making the 88th start, Cole (6-6) struck six and walked one while winning for the first time since May 20. He had gone six starts without a victory while also spending nearly five weeks on the disabled list with strained right triceps from June 11-July 16.
“It was good, a really good feeling,” Cole said. “You try to do it every time out but it’s not something I had been dwelling on. There are lot of variables that can leak into any start and throw you astray, so you just focus on the things you can control like your delivery and making quality pitches.”
Cole threw 94 pitches, 70 for strikes, against a Mariners’ lineup stacked with seven left-handed hitters and a switch-hitter while becoming the first Pirates pitcher to complete a game with fewer than 100 pitches since Francisco Liriano, who also needed just 94 at St. Louis on Aug. 14, 2013.
McCutchen’s three-run blast off David Rollins came in the eighth inning and capped the scoring. His 15th home run of the season pushed the nine-year veteran’s career total to 166, tying Dave Parker for fifth on the Pirates’ all-time list.
McCutchen, who also doubled, had gone 4 for 29 with eight strikeouts in his previous seven games, dropping the 2013 NL MVP’s batting average to .241.
Norichika Aoki hit a pair of doubles and scored the Mariners’ lone run in the sixth inning on Robinson Cano’s sacrifice fly.
Paxton gave up three runs and six hits in five innings, striking out six and walking one.
“I didn’t have my best stuff and my location wasn’t really great,” Paxton said. “It was kind of a battle.”
McCutchen and Kang each had four RBIs to help the Pirates win for the sixth time in nine games. Jordy Mercer also had three of the Pirates’ 14 hits and David Freese and Starling Marte added two each as the top four in the order went a combined 10 for 17.
Mariners: DH/OF Nelson Cruz was not in the lineup after fouling a ball off his left foot Tuesday night, though manager Scott Servais said he held the slugger out primarily because the designated hitter rule was not in effect in an NL park. … RHP Taijuan Walker (right foot tendinitis) pitched a three-inning simulated game Wednesday, the first time he had faced hitters since going on the disabled list July 6, and will likely make a minor league rehab start this weekend. … RHP Nick Vincent (mid-back strain), on the DL since June 27, will throw off a mound for the first time Friday since being injured and is likely to go on a rehab assignment next week.
Pirates: RHP Tyler Glasnow (shoulder inflammation), who was placed on the disabled list Sunday, is expected to begin playing catch this weekend. … C Chris Stewart (left knee discomfort) ran the bases Wednesday for the first since going on the DL on July 2 and could go on a rehab assignment by the middle of next week. … RHP Ryan Vogelsong (facial fractures) made what was scheduled to be the last of two rehab starts for Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday night and allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings against Gwinett with one walk and two strikeouts in the International League. He also started twice for Double-A Altoona.
Mariners: Open a three-game series against the Cubs at Chicago on Friday with RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (11-6, 3.96 ERA) looking to win his sixth straight start as he faces LHP Jon Lester (10-4, 3.09).
Pirates: Begin a three-game series Friday night at Milwaukee with LHP Steven Brault (0-1, 2.25) expected to be recalled from Indianapolis and make his second major league start, opposing Brewers RHP Junior Guerra (6-2, 2.85).
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