SAN FRANCISCO -- The Pirates will use another off-day to ease up rookie right-hander Gerrit Cole's pitching load. Cole will have his next turn, which normally would have been Tuesday in the homestand opener against Milwaukee, delayed two days until the finale of that series with the Brewers.
"That will give him the same seven days between starts he had last time," manager Clint Hurdle said.
As a result, Jeff Locke and Charlie Morton will go in the first two games against the Brewers in PNC Park. The juggled rotation lines up aces Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett to start Friday and Saturday in the first two of a weekend series with the Cardinals.
Cole faced the Padres on Wednesday in his first start on this eighth day schedule. He did not get a victory but did tender a strong six-inning effort, allowing two runs and striking out five without a walk.
A month short of the end of his second professional season, the overall No. 1 selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft has logged a total of 146 innings, including 78 with the Pirates since his June 11 recall from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Zack Meisel is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.