PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chad Kuhl and four relievers combined on a three-hitter, and the Pittsburgh Pirates scratched out the only run of a rainy game Sunday when David Freese was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Philadelphia starter Aaron Nola (2-1) returned from the disabled list and threw seven strong innings. The right-hander, who had been sidelined with a back injury, gave up four hits and faltered just briefly in the sixth.READ MORE: Pete Rose Dismisses Sexual Misconduct Questions At Phillies' Alumni Weekend
Adam Frazier and Josh Harrison started the inning with consecutive singles, putting runners at the corners. Harrison stole second and, after Andrew McCutchen grounded out, Josh Bell was intentionally walked to load the bases. Nola hit Freese with a pitch, forcing in a run, before John Jaso grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Wade LeBlanc (3-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings to win in relief. Juan Nicasio and Felipe Rivero got the ball to Tony Watson, who earned his 10th save in 11 opportunities.
The game started on time and was never delayed but was played during a steady rain that became heavy at times.
Coming off consecutive subpar outings, Kuhl didn’t allow a hit until the fifth and walked only two while striking out five in five innings.
Lefties were batting .391 against Kuhl coming into the game, but he held the six Philadelphia left-handed batters hitless with a walk and three strikeouts.
Frazier finished 2 for 3 with a walk to increase his batting average to .369. He would rank second in the National League if he had enough plate appearances to qualify. Frazier missed 18 games with a hamstring injury in late April and early May.READ MORE: Coroner: Smoke Inhalation Killed At Least 5 Of 10 In Fire
Nola struck out five and had thrown 89 pitches when he was removed for a pinch hitter in the eighth.
Pirates: OF Gregory Polanco hit off a tee and played catch Saturday for the first time since being placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring May 17. If all goes well, he is expected to take batting practice for the first time on Monday.
Phillies: OF Daniel Nava missed his second game with a strained left hamstring. He is day to day.
Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (2-4, 2.84 ERA) starts the opener of a four-game series in Atlanta on Monday night. Cole has compiled eight consecutive quality stats and pitched seven innings with two earned runs or fewer in each of his last three outings. He went six innings and allowed three runs against the Braves on April 9, but did not factor in the decision.
Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-4, 4.53) hopes to build off the momentum of his last start when Philadelphia hosts Colorado on Monday night. In his most recent outing, Eickhoff allowed two earned runs over six innings. He hadn’t had a six-inning start in a full month, and his ERA rose more than two runs during that span.
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