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NLDS 2013: Gerrit Cole to start Game 5 for Pirates

Cole gets the start over veteran A.J. Burnett, who struggled in Game 1 of the NLDS.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have chosen Gerrit Cole to start the deciding Game 5 of their National League Divisional Series against the Cardinals on Wednesday, reports Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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Cole started Game 2 and pitched wonderfully in his first postseason appearance. Over six innings, he allowed just two hits, including a solo home run to Yadier Molina, while striking out five Cardinals' hitters to lead the team to a 7-1 victory.

Pittsburgh opted not to go with Game 1 starter A.J. Burnett. The Cardinals scored seven runs to lead off the third inning against Burnett, causing the Pirates to pull him before he could record an out in the frame.

"We have one game to win," manager Clint Hurdle said in a press conference. "As I've done and I've challenged the guys to do, we need to do the best we can to win that next game. I believe that matchup is the best we can do to beat the Cardinals in Game 5."

In his rookie year, Cole made 19 starts with a 3.22 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. He was outstanding through September, allowing just six runs in five starts while holding batters to a 524 OPS.

Cole will go head to head with Cardinals veteran ace Adam Wainwright, who held the Pirates to one run over seven innings in Game 1.

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