PITTSBURGH -- Gerrit Cole pitched eight innings of two-hit ball, but the offense and the bullpen let him down in a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.

Cole had an inefficient first inning, when he needed 21 pitches and a double play to get through back-to-back walks. But he settled down quickly and was nearly un-hittable after that, allowing just an infield hit and a single to left in his eight innings of work.

“Cole pretty much had no-hit stuff,” said Cubs catcher Alex Avila, who delivered the game-winning RBI in the eighth off Daniel Hudson. “The way he was locating with 97, slider, curveball, he was excellent. You just had a feeling that we weren’t going to have many opportunities against him. If he made a mistake, we weren’t able to capitalize on it. He had unbelieva...

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