Cole leaves after being hit by liner

Pirates' No. 2 prospect departs after three-run first inning

By Robert Emrich / Special to | June 26, 2012 8:57 PM ET

Gerrit Cole was knocked out of the game on Tuesday. Literally.'s No. 8 prospect left the game after being hit with a pair of line drives during a three-run first inning as Double-A Altoona fell to Harrisburg, 8-3, on Tuesday.

After getting two quick outs to open the game, Cole (1-1) allowed back-to-back-to-back singles that scored a run. Destin Hood then singled back through the box with a shot that bounced off Cole's glove and struck him in the face. The first pick in the 2011 Draft stayed in the game and hit Kris Watts before Sean Nicol hit another line drive that struck Cole. Cole recovered to fan Austin Bibens-Dirkx for the final out of the inning.

"They're doing some tests, [a] CT [scan] on him, check him out," Altoona manager P.J. Forbes told the (Harrisburg) Patriot-News after the game. "I don't know anything more than that.

"He had some swelling. It wasn't swollen when we got out there, when he came off [the mound], it was starting to swell."

For Cole, Tuesday marked the shortest outing of his brief career, tossing 33 pitches while taking his first loss at the Double-A level. The 21-year-old right-hander pitched three innings in his second pro start on April 14 for Class A Advanced Bradenton. While it's not known if he'll miss any time, Forbes liked how Cole responded.

"[Cole] hopped up and said, 'Where's my hat, where's the ball? Let's go'," Forbes said. "It shows how tough a kid he is," Forbes said. "He wasn't very happy when I told him he was done."

Nathan Baker took over for Cole and allowed a run on five hits while striking out four over four innings.

Robbie Grossman, the Pirates' No. 7 prospect, led the game off with a homer for the Curve.

Watts finished with two doubles and three RBIs for the Senators while Justin Bloxom was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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