PITTSBURGH -- Gerrit Cole has picked the right time to start winning -- in the midst of a pennant race. Jung-ho Kang Jersey . Cole won consecutive starts for the first time since early June, National League batting leader Josh Harrison had three hits, and the surging Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 7-3 Friday night for their seventh win in eight games. Cole (9-5) improved to 5-0 against the Cubs, allowing three runs, five hits and one walk in six innings with six strikeouts. He also won at Wrigley Field last weekend. Coles only other consecutive winning starts this year were April 4 and 10, and May 29 and June 3. He also spent two stints on the disabled list, totalling 70 days. Though he wasnt at his best, Cole was able to escape a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning after Welington Castillos RBI single had pulled the Cubs to 4-3. Cole got Arismendy Alcantara to foul out to the catcher to end the inning. "He has been able to slow himself down and focus on making the next big pitch," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Cole. "He did a good job of the big pitch when he had to." Pittsburgh is 14-7 since Aug. 20, moving a season-high nine games over .500 at 78-69. The Pirates, who were eight games under as late as May 21 (18-26), maintained a 1 1/2-game lead over Milwaukee for the second NL wild card. "Were playing really good baseball right now," shortstop Jordy Mercer said. "Even though weve been scoring runs, it always comes down to pitching and defence and that was the difference." Harrison raised his average to .318 while scoring a pair of runs from the leadoff spot. Mercer also had three hits and drove in three runs, including a two-run single in the sixth that made it 6-3. Neil Walker had a pair of RBI singles for the Pirates, who had 14 hits. Alcantara and fellow rookie Javier Baez homered for the Cubs, who have lost seven straight in their longest skid since 2012. Baez had hit .103 in his previous 10 games and Alcantara batted .130 in his past 14. Tsuyoshi Wada (4-3) gave up four runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings. "I thought we put in some pretty good at bats," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "I thought, overall, we played a little bit better than we had the previous six games." TRAINERS ROOM Cubs: 1B Anthony Rizzo (lower back strain) took batting practice and ran the bases during a pregame workout but missed his 16th straight game and likely wont return until Monday, when Chicago hosts Cincinnati. Pirates: LF Starling Marte (bruised left elbow) sat out after leaving Thursday nights win at Philadelphia when he was hit by a pitch. RHP Charlie Morton (right hip inflammation/sports hernia) threw 42 pitches in a bullpen session and hopes to pitch in relief. His last major league appearance was on Aug. 15 when he started and lost at Washington. UP NEXT Cubs LHP Felix Doubront (3-5, 5.43) is to make his third start Saturday night since being acquired July 30 from Boston in a trade, facing Pirates LHP Jeff Locke (7-4, 3.60). Doubront went 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his first two starts. Locke is 5-1 with a 3.29 ERA in his last seven starts. FATHERHOOD AWAITS Cubs rookie RF Jorge Soler is expected to miss the three-game series after travelling to Miami for the birth of his first child. He has hit .356 with four home runs and 13 RBIs in his first 12 big league games. Sean Rodriguez Jersey . What they did need, the Devils got from Patrik Elias. Elias scored a power-play goal 40 seconds into overtime to give the New Jersey Devils a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. Willie Stargell Jersey .com) - The Minnesota Twins made it official on Wednesday, announcing the signing of outfielder Torii Hunter to a one-year contract. http://www.pittsburghpiratesprostore.us/Barry-Bonds-pirates-jersey/ . Bjoerndalen broke the record he shared with cross-country skiing great Bjoern Daehlie, also matching his fellow Norwegians record of eight gold medals. Bjoerndalen earlier won gold in Sochi in the mens sprint biathlon.English-born Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg says he feels sorry for opposite number Joe Hart ahead of their World Cup Qualifier on Saturday. Hart is part of Gareth Southgates squad to face Malta in his first game as interim England manager, before a trip to Slovenia on Tuesday.Hogg, who was born in Surrey and lived in England until he was five, admits goalkeepers across the game are now being challenged to play with the ball at their feet and expressed sympathy for Hart, who was sent out on loan by Manchester City as Pep Guardiola opted to bring in Claudio Bravo from Barcelona. Ive followed Joes situation quite a lot and, yes, I feel sorry for him, Hogg said. Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg (R) says Manchester Citys reasoning for loaning out Joe Hart makes sense Goalkeeping is changing, for sure, Ive seen the same thing playing in Greece and even in Malta. Even though the quality is not the same they are all looking for goalkeepers who can pass.I understand the reasoning of the Manchester City coach, it makes sense, but at the end of the day it happens and you have to deal with whatever football or life throws at you.Football is a game of confidence and you will go in and out of form, but the best fight back and stay at the top. Joe got himself to Torino and Serie A is a great league. Watch NOW TV Watch Sky Sports for just ?￡6.99. No contract. Asked if he might look to show Hart up with some neat footwork of his own on Saturday, Hogg said: With my club I play more of that game, not so much the national side. Hogg has instructed his 15-strong suppport of family and friends to only cheer for Malta at Wembley as they watch on from the away end. Francisco Cervelli Jersey. Its a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but you cant lose your mind about the glitziness of the stadium or the situation, he added. Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg conceded five goals against Scotland in their first World Cup qualifier You focus on your job and be a professional. Weve played Italy four times in recent qualifying and they never took the mick out of the us.We want to leave with our heads held high, to gain respect from everybody and make the most of our chance to do the Maltese people proud.You can watch Englands tour of Bangladesh, plus Premier League football and the Japan Grand Prix on Sky Sports. Upgrade now and enjoy three months at half price! Also See: Townsend replaces Sterling Gundogan: United disrespectful England axe was wake-up call Shearer: Gareth in pole position NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys Discount NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys Wholesale White NFL Jerseys Cheap Cheap Jerseys Wholesale ' ' '