Cole strikes out 9 batters as Pirates beat Giants 4-3

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Gerrit Cole struck out a nine to win his third straight start, Neil Walker hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the fifth after a pair of called strikeouts, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the San Francisco Giants 4-3 on Monday night.

Andrew McCutchen had two likely hits stolen by great plays in the outfield and he instead settled for sacrifice flies against Ryan Vogelsong (4-3).

Cole (8-2) struck out the side in order in the fourth, then worked a 1-2-3 fifth before loading the bases with none out in the sixth. He got out of it with a strikeout of Brandon Belt and inducing Brandon Crawford’s inning-ending double play.

Belt’s two-run, two-out double in the first put San Francisco ahead in a rematch of the NL one-game wild card won 8-0 by the eventual champion Giants last October at PNC Park.

(Eds note: Deletes reference to Cole having season best in strikeouts.)