Moving on to game two which was much more friendly to the Pirates, the offense FINALLY scored more than 3 runs, something they have only managed 3 times in their last 14 games. What made the scoring even more impressive was the run the Tigers starter Eduardo Rodrigeuz had been on. In his last five outings, Rodrigeuz had only allowed 1 run in his last 35 innings pitched, and only 1 earned run at home all year.
The Pirates would jump on him early as the scoring was started by (checks notes) Austin Hedges, who doubled in the 2nd inning to bring home 2 runs. Later, Rodolfo Castro, who made his first start in over a week, belted a solo homer to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead. Rudy should get the majority of the starts at secnd base anytime a lefty is on the mound, period. His 5th homer of the year.
Cutch would add to the scoring in the 5th inning with an RBI single, his second hit of the day. The offense would not look back as they would go on to score 4 runs in the 7th inning off RBIs from Carlos Santana, Connor Joe, Rodolfo Castro, and (checks notes again) Austin Hedges. The Pirates would finish 6-17 with runners in scoring position, a much-needed day for a historically struggling offense.
Rich Hill Masterpiece
All of this was set up by the 43-year-old Rich Hill, who pitched his best game of the year thus far allowing only one hit (a lucky base hit) which hit off Hill's glove in the 1st inning. Hill would go on to strike out the next 5 batters and never looked back finishing with 6 innings pitched, no runs, 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts.
Hill would throw 84 pitches, of which 39 were curve balls and 27 fastballs. With weird and forever-changing arm angles, Hill managed 12 whiffs and blanked the Tigers. Stephenson, Hernandez, and Moreta would come out of the pen to complete the shutout.
The Pirates return home for a three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks in which Johan Oviedo will get the start for game one Friday night with a 6:35 PM ET start time. Zac Gallen, the young stud will take the mound for the D-backs, boasting a 1.16 ERA in his last 7 games.