• Pittsburgh responded to Cole's debut with a crowd of 30,614 -- the largest PNC Park Tuesday crowd since last July 24, when 32,497 saw the Cubs. This season's first three Tuesday dates had averaged crowds of 13,500.
• Jared Hughes said he is improving daily and admitted his shoulder was getting progressively worse for a while before the Pirates finally put him on the DL on Saturday with inflammation in the joint.
• To Hurdle, McDonald's latest rehab start just showed how much work remains before he can be considered for a return to the rotation. McDonald allowed eight hits and five runs in six innings with Indianapolis on Tuesday, but Hurdle was more focused on the fact he retired only eight batters on three pitches or less, and the lack of variance in the velocities of his off-speed pitches, with all three (slider, curve, change) in the 73-80 mph range.
"That's not good enough," Hurdle said of the dearth of quick outs, "and you want more separation in the off-speed pitches. More improvements need to be made."
• What do Steamboat Struss, Oad Swigart and Cole have in common? They are the only pitchers in Pirates history (post-1915) to have two RBIs in their big league debuts. Struss did it in 1934, in a loss to the Cubs in his only Major League game. Swigart did it in 1939, in a loss to the Dodgers. That makes Cole the only one to do it in a winning effort.
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. Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.