PITTSBURGH -- One swing of the bat by Ike Davis returned Tuesday night's game to the Pirates.
Davis smashed a pinch-hit three-run home run in the eighth inning Tuesday night at PNC Park to lead the Pirates to a 5-2 win against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The homer salvaged a brilliant start by Gerrit Cole, who for six innings at least, was awfully reminiscent of the rookie who stormed through September of 2013.
Cole didn't surrender a hit until the sixth inning, but gave up two to open the seventh leaving runners on the corners when manager Clint Hurdle went to his bullpen with Cole's pitch count at 108.
One night after the Cardinals came back to haunt the Pirates bullpen, they did it again, tying the game in the seventh.
Hurdle went to left-hander Tony Watson. Jon Jay drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Watson struck out A.J. Pierzynski but then gave up a flare single to shallow center to Oscar Taveras, and an RBI single to pinch hitter Randal Grichuk to leave the inning with the game deadlocked at 2-2.
The took a 2-0 lead on an RBI grounder from Clint Barmes and a solo home run from Josh Harrison.
The bad news?
Andrew McCutchen left the game in the sixth inning with "left rib discomfort" presumably after slamming into the centerfield wall back-first to make a spectacular catch in the third inning. Then Pedro Alvarez, who had just begun to heat up, left the game with "left foot discomfort."
McCutchen and Alvarez were to be treated Tuesday night and reevaluated on Wednesday, according to the club.
McCutchen returned from the disabled list Aug. 19 from a rib fracture, or more specifically an avulsion fracture involving the costochondral cartilage of the 11th rib.
McCutchen has said repeatedly he has felt "good enough" to be back in the lineup, but has never said he felt 100 percent.
He did have two at-bats after slamming into the wall -- a strikeout in the third and a fly ball out in the fifth before leaving the game.
The catch robbed Matt Carpenter of a hit. McCutchen seemed to pause momentarily after the catch and took his time coming off the field.
Cole came out of the gate dealing. He struck out four through two innings -- two with his curveball, and one on a called fastball -- then nine by game's end.
Cole also had a chance to help out at the plate in the bottom of the second inning.
Russell Martin doubled with one out before Lynn walked Starling Marte and Clint Barmes, bringing Cole to the plate with the bases loaded. He grounded out.
Cole hit A.J. Pierzynski with a 96 mph fastball on his elbow pad with two outs in the fifth -- which was only the second Cardinal aboard.
Cole got out of the inning quickly as a comebacker from Tavarez deflected off the inside of his ankle but was played by Walker for an easy play to first to end the inning.
Kelton Wong busted up Cole's no-hitter bid with a two-out double to right field in the sixth inning, but Cole struck out Matt Holliday with his curveball to end the inning.
Cole returned in the seventh, but was removed at 108 pitches after giving up a double to Matt Adams, followed by a single to Jhonny Peralta.
He finished his night giving up two earned runs on three hits, one walk and nine strikeouts.
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