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Gerrit Cole tossed six scoreless innings in a rehab outing on Sunday at Triple-A Indianapolis

Aug 11, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

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Gerrit Cole allowed five runs on 10 hits over 4 2/3 innings in a rehab start last week, but the Pirates insisted they weren’t worried about those results and it appears that their confidence was well-placed.

Cole was sensational in his latest rehab outing Sunday with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians, yielding just one hit over six scoreless innings. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. The right-hander only threw 73 pitches, which might preclude the Bucs from activating him this week, but the outing can still be considered a great sign of progress.

Cole has been on the disabled list for over a month with discomfort in his right lat muscle and suffered a minor setback at the beginning of August. He also missed time with a shoulder injury earlier this season.

The 23-year-old former first overall pick boasts a 3.46 ERA and 1.227 WHIP through his first 203 innings at the major league level. The Pirates — who are currently 2 1/2 games back of the Brewers in the National League Central standings — need him to be ace-like down the stretch.

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