PITTSBURGH -- Starter Gerrit Cole left in the third inning of the Pirates' 9-3, extra-inning loss to the Cardinals on Friday after a meeting on the mound with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk. It was announced that Cole left the game due to right triceps tightness.
"The biggest thing was after I sat down for the second, going back out for the third, it just wasn't where it needed to be," Cole said.
Trainers told Cole that the worst time to evaluate injury is immediately after activity, so they will take a more extensive look at the injury Saturday.
Cole said this is not an injury he has experienced before. Although he felt fine the first two innings, he could tell something was off with his right arm in the third -- it wasn't responding like he wanted it to.
"In the third inning, it just wasn't right," he said.
Cole gave up a single to Matt Carpenter on an 87-mph slider right before leaving. Right-hander A.J. Schugel replaced Cole in the third inning and went on to pitch four scoreless innings. Schugel didn't give up a hit or walk and struck out four.
"It put us in a bind, but I thought we responded very well," Hurdle said. "I don't think you could've ever wanted a better effort than you got from A.J. Schugel."
Due to Cole's early departure, the Pirates worked eight pitchers until Juan Nicasio surrendered six runs on four hits in the 12th.
Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.