Rookie hurler Gerrit Cole struck out nine batters in seven shutout innings and Pedro Alvarez hit a run-scoring double off of Rangers ace Yu Darvish with two outs in the seventh to end the Bucs' two-decade-long losing skid. The win was the Pirates' first in five tries since earning their 81st win of the season last week against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Pirates last reached 82 victories in a season on Sept. 12, 1992, after a 9-7 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Jay Bell paced Pittsburgh with three hits in that game while Orlando Merced and Andy Van Slyke added two apiece. Stan Belinda was the winning pitcher.
A handful of current MLB players, including Bryce Harper, Xander Boegaerts and Jurickson Profar, hadn't been born yet when the Pirates won that night at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. 43-year-old Toronto Blue Jays reliever Darren Oliver was still a year away from making his big-league debut.