Cole took the mound in Louisville on Friday night, and he blanked the Bats on five hits for seven innings, walking one and striking out three. He made 92 pitches, 59 of them strikes.
The Bucs will wait for day-after reports to see how Cole feels. He went on the DL with a sore lat on July 9.
However, it is reasonable to expect him to merge back into the rotation. On a regular throwing schedule, he would face Atlanta in PNC Park on Wednesday in the finale of the brief upcoming homestand.
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.