Pittsburgh Pirates tame Detroit Tigers 8-7 via the long ball


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The Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense stayed hot Wednesday night as the team beat the Detroit Tigers 8-7 at McKechnie Field in front of 9,018 excited fans. Tony Sanchez, Starling Marte, and Willy Garcia each hit a home run to drive in seven of the eight runs the team scored as the Pirate offense has now plated at least seven runs in back-to-back games.

A.J. Burnett took the mound for the Pirates and allowed only two runs on two hits in 3.2 innings pitched. But even as the offense built a lead, the Pirate bullpen threatened to give it up. In the 9th inning, with a seemingly comfortable 8-3 lead, Bobby LaFromboise came in and allowed four runs on five hits as Detroit began to close the gap. 6-foot-6 relief pitcher Josh Wall, owner of a career 15.15 ERA, would come in for the Pirates and get the last two outs, sealing a Pittsburgh win.

What Stood Out:

A number of important storylines came about during the game Wednesday night. On the negative side, Jose Tabata, one of a number of players vying for the fourth outfield spot on the roster, fouled a ball of of his foot early in the game. He was carted off the field, however, X-rays were negative following the contest.

On the positive end, Tony Sanchez continued his torrid spring training with a two-run blast in the second inning. Sanchez is now batting .526 this spring with 2 home runs, leading all Pirate players in the latter. Hurdle recently speculated that the team could carry three catchers on the 25-man roster going into the season, adding to Sanchez’s pursuit to be the team’s eventual number-one catcher. His offensive outpouring, along with presumptive backup catcher Chris Stewart‘s lingering hamstring injury, may open the door for Sanchez come Opening Day.

Wednesday night also saw the biggest crowd in McKechnie Field’s 93-year history, which is great news for a team that has seen many improvements in all facets of the game under the current management.

What’s Next:

The Pirates hand the ball to relief pitcher Radhames Liz, an offseason aquisition this past winter, as the team faces off against the 5-12 Baltimore Orioles at 1:05 Thursday afternoon. The team hopes Liz, what some would call a reclamation project, will be a viable option out of the bullpen come April.

Next: Pittsburgh Pirates' 2015 starting rotation: four things to know