With an out, Mitch Keller walked Nicholas Castellanos. He was going on a 3-2 pitch that ended up a Miggy K, stolen base, and error on Eli via a misfire, allowing NC to reach third, but no damage done. 25 pitches isn’t great, but a zero is, especially after giving up 9 first-inning runs in the first two starts. Daniel Norris punched out two of the first three Bucs in a clean opener. It was a quiet second for Mitch after a single was erased stealing with two away w/Diaz on the money this time. J-Bell opened the second by popping a hung hook over the CF wall to draw first blood. Eli doubled an out later; with two gone and first base open, Detroit opted to pitch to Fraze and got him to bounce out. Mitch mixed a slider or two in earlier; he tossed his first curve in the third. With two outs, he issued a four-pitch walk and it bit him when Castellanos doubled the runner home on an 0-2 fastball, the third straight one he saw. Miggy singled two pitches later and Motown took the lead. Norris threw eight pitches in sitting down Pittsburgh.
|Eli had two knocks – image Pittsburgh Pirates|
Detroit opened the fourth with a rap; Mitch threw away a bunt to put Tigers at second and third. A bouncer to third got past JHK for another error, and two runs scored. Bryan Reynolds did gun the batter at second and the next pair went down quietly. It was another easy frame for Norris. The Tigers made no noise in the fifth. Eli started it up with a single and JHK atoned by smacking a heater for three bags (why would anyone throw him a fastball?). Fraze’s pop to center froze him and Joey O fanned hitting for Mitch. K-Man walked. Reynolds took the first two pitches for strikes before tapping out. Runner on third and no outs, smh. Michael Feliz and Norris exchanged 1-2-3 sixths. Micheal spun a nice seventh; a two-out walk was caught stealing, with Eli on the mark again. Victor Alcantara took the ball, and like Keller, was bitten by his own error. He threw away a JHK roller. With two outs, Daniel Stumpf came in to get a lefty-lefty match with Redbeard; Colin won, singling Kang home. Buck Farmer was then beckoned (as was Big Joe, who ran for Moran). Joe was on the move on a 3-2 pitch to K-Man, who chased him home with a triple. Reynolds walked and moved up 90′ on a short wild pitch. Starling stopped the party by swinging at a changeup in the dirt to whiff.
|Bryan had a rare 0-fer – photo Pittsburgh Pirates|
With an out in the eighth, Castellanos drew a nine-pitch walk and Miggy singled. A HBP – a backfoot slider on a 1-2 count loaded ‘em. A likely-looking DP grounder to Fraze turned into a fielders choice when he took the out at first instead of flipping to second; he couldn’t decide whether or not to tag the runner and the hesitation cost the lead run. Infield defense tonight, geez. Joe Jimenez toed the slab and gave up a one-out knock to Melky. With two down, JHK walked and Fraze was bopped, but Corey D left the sacks juiced on a soft infield bouncer. The Bucs challenged the out call; the Bucs lost; close but the right call. Clay Holmes got the ninth-inning duty and gave up a two-out single that he deflected, but no more runs. Shane Greene (he’s been tough; he’s a cutter guy ala The Shark) gave up a leadoff rap to K-Man, then Starling walked with one gone, bringing up J-Bell. Curb your enthusiasm; Josh bounced a sinker away back to the hill for a 1-6-3 DP. Goodnight.
Go 1-for-10 w/RISP, make three errors and have a clutch mental cramp, and you should lose. Just like the defeat to Miami, all you needed for a win was a clean game. Sera, sera…
- Kevin Newman and Elias Diaz each had two knocks. Bryan Reynolds had his hitting streak ended at nine games.
- J-Bell has 50 extra-base hits in 72 games.
- The Pirates had vid tribute for Jordy Mercer, who tipped his cap to the crowd from the Tigers dugout. He had a highlight or three during his seven years as a Bucco.
- Reliever Brandon Maurer is beginning a rehab stint at West Virginia; he’s been out several weeks with knee inflammation.
- 18,301 was the announced attendance for tonight’s match.
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