SAN FRANCISCO -- Gerrit Cole's first rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis won't make Pirates fans any more patient waiting for his return.
Taking the mound for the Indians on Monday night in Rochester, Cole blanked the Red Wings for five innings on five hits. He had three walks and struck out seven, delivering 50 of his 81 pitches for strikes.
The agenda for Cole, on the DL with a sore lat since July 9, calls for him to make two rehab starts for the Triple-A club and stretch out close to 100 pitches in the second turn.
On regular schedule, that second rehab start would happen Saturday. That would put Cole on track to rejoin the Bucs' rotation Aug. 8, in the opener of a three-game series against the Padres in PNC Park.
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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.