The Pittsburgh Pirates only needed to two swings of the bat from Andrew Mccutchen to beat the Tigers today 4-3 at Comerica Park. A two-run home run in the first inning, and another in the fifth, both off of Tigers starter Drew Smyly (1-1), led the way for the Pirates offense. They were the sixth and seventh home runs of the season for Mccutchen.
Smyly lasted only 4 2/3 innings this afternoon giving up both home runs to Mccutchen. He struck out six, and threw 92 pitches on his way to his first loss of the season. After six straight starts allowing two or fewer runs Smyly has struggled in his last two allowing eight earned runs, four home runs, and twelve hits over his last 9 2/3 innings.
Pirates starter A.J. Burnett (2-2) was helped by a Tigers offense that went 1-8 with runners in scoring position, and left 10 men on base. Burnett pitched six innings, giving up seven hits, and two earned runs.
Prince Fielder tied the game with his own two-run home run in the third inning. It was the seventh of the season for Fielder. Brennan Boesch extended his hitting streak to 11 games, and may be emerging from a long slump to start the season.
Mccutchen has been on fire for the Pirates over his last 10 games. The speedy center fielder has five home runs, 10 RBI’s over that span and is now batting .346. On a team with the worst team batting average, and several players batting under .200 Mccutchen is the lone bright spot for the Pirates.
The Pirates and Tigers bullpens combined to throw 7 1/3 innings allowing zero earned runs. Brayan Villarreal relieved Smyly in the fifth inning for the Tigers, and struck out three over 2 1/3 innings. Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan struck out two (including Fielder to end the game) on his way to his ninth save of the season.
The Tigers have not won back-to-back games since April 17th and 18th over the Kansas City Royals. The team has now fallen to third place in the Central Division, four games behind the Cleveland Indians.
The final game of the interleague series will take place tomorrow afternoon at Comerica Park with first pitch set for 1:05pm. Max Scherzer (2-3, 6.26 ERA, 1.73 WHIP) will start for the Tigers against Kevin Correia (1-4, 4.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) for the Pirates.
About the Author
Written by Jeremy Klumpp
I am a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Electronic Media and Film. For two years I wrote a baseball blog, "Ground Rule Double," and have contributed to a book on the 1968 Detroit Tigers. If you want to read my non-sports thoughts head to jklumpp1.posterous.com.