Pirates beat Tigers bullpen to split doubleheader
Bryan Reynolds doubled in Pittsburgh’s seventh two-run, and the Pirates beat the Detroit Tigers 7-2 to split Wednesday’s doubleheader.
The Tigers won the opener 3-2 thanks to two key Pirates errors.
After pitching 4 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 1, the Tigers’ bullpen struggled in the final drink. With the game tied at 2, Tigers reliever Drew Hutchinson (0-2) walked Ben Gemel to start the seventh and Reynolds hit a double left bloop.
Will Vest replaced Hutchinson and his wild throw gave Gemel the go-ahead. He then hit Ke’Bryan Hayes and allowed a sacrifice steal to Daniel Vogelbach.
Gemel added an RBI single in the ninth — his fifth hit of the doubleheader — and Vogelbach went 7-2 with a two-run homer.
Detroit lost for the eighth time in 10 games, while Pittsburgh won its second in eight games.
Zach Thompson (1-3) took the win with a scoreless relief run. David Bednar pitched the final two innings for his third save.
Tigers starter Alex Faedo, making his major league debut, allowed two runs on eight hits in five innings.
In Game 1, the Tigers had three hits and three unearned runs. Alex Lange (1-1) had two outs for the win and Gregory Soto worked the ninth for his fourth save.
The Detroit bullpen started the day with a 1.97 ERA, the best in the major leagues.
Dillon Peters pitched 3 1/3 innings for Pittsburgh, extending his season-long scoreless streak to 16 2/3 innings. Bryse Wilson (0-1) struck out six in 3 2/3 innings, but was charged with the loss.
Pittsburgh took a 2-0 lead in the fifth on Gamel’s two-run triple over Lange.
Detroit responded in the bottom half. Jeimer Candelario started with a brace and Castro reached on an error by shortstop Cole Tucker.
Akil Baddoo’s single walk charged the goals. Grossman hit in the Tigers’ first inning with a sacrifice fly. Hayes then kicked Javier Báez’s bouncer, allowed two more runs to score.
Báez put up some shrewd defense at shortstop, including a memorable play in Game 1.
He was positioned to right of second base during a quarterback against Bryan Reynolds. Báez dove to his right to stop Reynolds’ grounder, then returned the ball with his glove between his legs to Candelario for a forced takedown at second.
“I was jumping almost everywhere on the mound. It’s exciting to see Javy make a play like that,” Tigers pitcher Michael Pineda said. “I love seeing Javy play the game because the way he plays, everyone loves him. He plays really hard and we’re delighted to have him here.
IN AND OUT
Due to rain on Tuesday, the Tigers found themselves with two days off before a one-day, two-game home game.
Tigers: LHP Tyler Alexander underwent an MRI which confirmed a sprained elbow and no structural damage. He is on the 15-day injured list.
The Pirates activated left-hander Anthony Banda from the 10-day disabled list and opted for left-hander Aaron Fletcher at Triple-A Indianapolis. … Fletcher, however, was the 27th man for Game 2 of the doubleheader, while Detroit added right-hander Alex Faedo. … Tigers receiver Dustin Garneau, who was designated for an assignment, cleared the waivers and was traded outright to Triple-A Toledo.
Pirates: Pittsburgh is out Thursday before starting a four-game series at Cincinnati that includes a doubleheader on Saturday. JT Brubaker (0-2, 6.20) is expected to start on Friday; the Reds have not announced a starter.
Tigers: Detroit starts a four-game series at Houston on Thursday. Tarik Skubal (1-2, 3.05) is expected to start the opener against Jose Urquidy (2-1, 5.95) of the Astros.
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