Pittsburgh Pirates Pull Off Biggest Comeback In 11 Years In Victory Over The Tigers

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 19: Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates scores on an RBI single in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers during inter-league play at PNC Park on June 19, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 19: Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates scores on an RBI single in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers during inter-league play at PNC Park on June 19, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates played their fourth and final game of the season against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night

On Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers played the second game of their short two-game series at PNC Park. After suffering a 5-4 mistake filled loss on Tuesday night, the Pirates were looking to bounce back in game two.

The Pirates fell into a big hole on Wednesday night, but would still find a way to get a much needed victory. Despite a 7-1 3rd inning deficit, the Pirates buckled down and fought their way back to pick up an 8-7 victory. With the win, the team is now 33-40 on the season.

Both teams went with starting pitchers returning from the injured list on Wednesday night. Trevor Williams took the ball for the Pirates, while the Tigers handed the ball to veteran Jordan Zimmermann. Neither pitcher would get the start they were looking for.

In his first inning pitched in a month, Williams was victimized by some poor defense and luck in the top of the 1st.

Jacoby Jones ripped the second pitch of the game to left field. On the play, Jones went for second base but a great play by Corey Dickerson led to a throw that easily beat Jones to the bag. However, second baseman Adam Frazier made an abysmal play as he totally whiffed on the tag giving Jones a double. This led to a Christin Stewart single a 1-0 Tigers lead.

This was the second time in as many nights that a defense gaffe by Frazier led to Detroit runs. In Tuesday night’s loss, he screwed up a routine 4-6-3 double play that would’ve ended the 8th inning but, instead, resulted in a fielder’s choice on which the Tigers scored the winning run. With Frazier struggling offensively and defensively, he should no longer be starting at second base for the Pirates.

Following Stewart’s single, Nicholas Castellanos snuck a softly hit ground ball through under the glove of Josh Bell for a hit. Then with two outs, Harold Castro blooped a weakly hit single to left field to make it 2-0 Tigers.

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After Williams struck out the side in order in the top half of the 2nd inning, the Pirate offense had an opportunity to strike in the bottom half of the inning.

Bell was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Colin Moran singled. With one out, Elias Diaz singled to load the bases with just one out. Frazier’s woes would then continue as he had a miserable at bat that ended in a three pitch strikeout.

At this point, it looked like the Pirates would not score as Frazier’s strikeout came with Williams on deck. Williams, however, would pick Frazier up with a run-scoring single.  Kevin Newman then struck out to end the inning with the Bucs trailing 2-1.

More bad luck was waiting for Williams in the 3rd inning. Stewart reached on an infield hit to start the inning and Castellanos double on a ball that Moran should have at least kept in the infield at third base.

Williams then started to miss his spots as Niko Goodrum laced a double into the right field corner to make it 4-1 Tigers. Brandon Dixon then smoked a 2-run home run to make it 6-1 Detroit. The first career home run by Castro then made it 7-1 Tigers.

The Pirates would cut into the Tiger lead in bottom of the 3rd inning. A two-out double by Dickerson plated a pair to cut the Detroit lead to 7-3.

Williams lasted 5 innings in his return from the IL. While he was victimized by some poor defense and luck, he also missed his spots too often. He would allow 7 runs, 6 earned, on nine hits, two home runs allowed, and seven strikeouts. He settled in after his poor 3rd inning by retiring the final nine batters he faced.

Zimmermann did not struggle as much as Williams, but his return from the IL did not go well, either. In 4 innings pitched Zimmerman allowed 3 runs in five hits, a walk, and four strikeouts.

Nick Ramirez replaced Zimmerman in the 5th inning and was promptly greeted by a Bryan Reynolds single and a 2-run home run by Starling Marte. The 11th home run of the season from Marte cut the Detroit lead to 7-5.

After Richard Rodriguez pitched a scoreless 6th inning, the Pirates would score off of Ramirez some more. With two men on in the inning, Reynolds continued his terrific rookie season by launching a 3-run home run to deep left field. His 6th blast of the season gave the Pirates their first lead of the night at 8-7.

With the help of an outfield assist from Marte, lefty Francisco Liriano continued his excellent season in the 7th inning. Liriano posted a zero, to send the game into the 7th inning stretch with the Pirates leading 8-7.

Liriano remained in the game for the Pirates in the 8th inning. With Kyle Crick unavailable leaving Liriano in after he only needed 12 pitches to retire the side in the 7th inning was 100% the correct move by Hurdle, and Liriano would reward him for his confidence. Filtyh Franky retired the Tigers in order in the top half of the 8th inning, to keep the score at 8-7 Pirates.

In the 9th inning, it was Felipe Vazquez time.

While it does not appear that the Pirates are going anywhere this season, Wednesday night’s victory was still a great win for the team. It marked the first time since July 2008 that the Pirates overcame a 6 run deficit to win a game. Hopefully, this start will springboard the team into a good weekend series as they look for their first winning home stand since May 3rd – 8th.

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After a day off on Thursday the Pirates return to action on Friday night. Joe Musgrove (4.87 ERA, 3.81 FIP) and the Pirates will kick off a three-game weekend series against the San Diego Padres. Lefty Eric Lauer (4.60 ERA, 4.16 FIP) will take the ball for Andy Greene and the Padres.