Pittsburgh Pirates Take First Game vs Detroit Tigers
Monday night saw the Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Detroit Tigers in the first of their four game, two city series
After defeating the Detroit Tigers by a score of 3-0 on Monday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now 55-57 this season. With the win, the Bucs improved to 4-3 on their current homestand and 5-7 in interleague play this season.
This game was the first game of four between the Pirates and Tigers this week. After the first two games are played at PNC Park, the series will resume at Comerica Park in Detroit on Wednesday night.
The Pittsburgh Pirates would draw first blood on Monday night. This led to the Pirates never trailing on Monday night.
With 2 outs in the bottom of the 2nd inning Gregory Polanco was hit by pitch. Believe it or not, this was just the third time in his Major League career Polanco was hit by a pitch. Oddly enough it was the second time it has happened against the Tigers.
Francisco Cervelli then stepped to the plate. Cervelli put together an excellent at bat. He worked the count full, fouled off multiple 3-2 pitches, and, despite having the pitcher on deck, Cervelli found a pitch to drive. Cervelli would hit a double over the head of right fielder Justin Upton to make the score 1-0 Pirates.
Both teams played strong defense in the early innings on Monday night.
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Francisco Cervelli gunned down Justin Upton attempting to steal second base in the top of the 4th inning, and then Detroit third baseman Nick Castellanos made a fine play to rob Sean Rodriguez of a double in the bottom half of the inning. In the top of the 5th
In the top of the 5th inning Andrew McCutchen laid out to make one of the best catches of the season to take a hit away from Mikkie Mahtook. Detroit shortstop Dickson Machado then turned what looked like a sure fire hit from Starling Marte into a 6-4-3 double play in the bottom of the 5th inning.
Trevor Williams started for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night and turned in the best start of his Major League career. Through the game’s first 6 innings he allowed just a pair of base runners, kept the Tigers off the board, and needed just 85 pitches to do so.
Andrew Romine drew a walk off of Williams to start the top of the 7th inning. Justin Upton would then replace Romine on first base on a fielder’s choice, and Miguel Cabera lined out to Pirate shortstop Sean Rodriguez. Williams then froze Nick Castellanos on a 2-2 slider to record an inning ending strikeout.
In 7 innings of work on Monday night Trevor Williams allowed just a single base hit, he walked a pair, and he struck out 5. He did not allow a run, and he threw a career-high 107 pitches.
The Pirates added to their lead in the bottom of the 7th inning. Once again, it came via a 2 out rally. Francisco Cervelli drew a 2 out walk and then pinch-hitter John Jaso blasted a home run to right field. Jaso’s 8th home run of the season made the score 3-0 Pirates.
Jordan Zimmermann started for the Tigers and turned in a good start for the Motor City Bengals. Zimmermann has struggled this season, but threw 7 shutout innings against the Yankees in his last start and is still a very talented pitcher.
In 7 innings pitched on Monday night Zimmermann allowed 3 runs. He allowed 5 hits, he hit a batter, he walked 3 hitters, and he recorded a pair of strikeouts. However, he allowed the game’s big blow in John Jaso’s pinch-hit home run.
George Kontos made his Pittsburgh Pirates’ debut in the top of the 8th inning. Kontos would retire the Tigers in order, including a strikeout. His Pirate debut could not have gone better.
With Felipe Rivero unavailable, Juan Nicasio was called upon to pitch the 9th inning for the Pirates. As he has done so many times this season, Nicasio made things look easy in the top of the 9th inning. Nicasio retired the Tigers in order, and this included a pair of strikeouts.
Monday night’s game was one of the best all-around games from the Pirates this season. Trevor Williams and the bullpen combined to hold the Tigers to just a trio of base runners, the Bucs played excellent defense, and the offense was good enough to get the victory.
Next: Comparing Marinez and Kontos
The second game of this series and the last before the series moves to Detroit is scheduled for 7:05 on Tuesday night. Chad Kuhl will start for the Pirates, while the Tigers give the ball to Matthew Boyd. With a win, the Pirates will finish this homestand with a 5-3 record.