Cole likely to make next start after early exit

Cole likely to make next start after early exit

PITTSBURGH -- Gerrit Cole played catch and appeared to be fine the day after he left a start after five innings and 80 pitches with right lat soreness.

While meeting with the media before his club's 3-2 victory over the Phillies on Saturday, manager Clint Hurdle said the 23-year-old righty was being evaluated.

Cole had said some muscles in his back tightened up while he was pitching Friday. Both he and Hurdle downplayed the issue after the Pirates' 8-2 win against Philadelphia, saying Cole's removal was more of a cautious move than anything else.

"It just got a little tight," Cole said Friday night. "Instead of trying to push through it, coming back, it just seemed like the right thing to do, to take a step back for a minute."

Cole cruised through his five innings before exiting, giving up no runs on one hit. He also had five strikeouts in the start, his second since being activated from the disabled list with right shoulder fatigue, which caused him to miss a little more than three weeks in June.

On Saturday afternoon, though, it did not appear the latest bump in the road would force Cole back to the DL. Cole (7-4, 3.78 ERA) was scheduled to start again Wednesday in St. Louis.

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.