Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole handles the Yankees in New York


Cole spearheaded the Pittsburgh Pirates’ first triumph in the Bronx in 54 years.

Flamethrower Gerrit Cole led the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-3 victory over the Yankees on Sunday in the Bronx.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Cole (4-3, 3.84 ERA), who snubbed the Yankees in 2008 to instead continue taking classes in Westwood, yielded three runs over six frames and fanned eight batters to help Pittsburgh split a doubleheader.

“It’s just another win,” said Cole, 23, who was arguably Pittsburgh’s best pitcher as a rookie in the final six weeks last year. “We need as many as we can, and the other stuff doesn’t matter.”

Chosen first overall out of UCLA in 2011, Cole consistently reaches 96 mph and exhibits complete command on the hill.

Using a fastball, slider and changeup, the former Bruin has incredible stuff and is nearly untouchable when operating properly.

Cole should ultimately give the Pirates one of the more formidable rotations in the sport.

Standout hurlers Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton have struggled to date.

Accordingly, the Pirates are 18-25 and battling the Chicago Cubs for the basement in the National League Central.

Provided Liriano and Morton rebound, Pittsburgh should again qualify for the playoffs and power arms dominate in the postseason.

A truly menacing Pirate, Cole launches absolutely blistering heat and has compiled 53 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings.

Although not fully performing up to his capabilities, Cole remains a burgeoning ace in the “Steel City.”

Following “just another win,” expect Gerrit Cole and the Pittsburgh Pirates to begin thriving on the diamond.

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