The red-hot Detroit Tigers kept rolling tonight, holding the Pittsburgh Pirates to just two hits in a 1-0 victory. The Tigers moved to 8-1, their best start since they kicked off the 1984 season with a 9-0 record. After hitting three home runs and scoring five runs in the opening game of this series, the Pirates were able to muster just five hits in the final two games.
Alfredo Simon was tonight's dominant starter, working eight innings while allowing just three baserunners. He struck out two and did not walk a batter, but hit Andrew McCutchen with a pitch in the first inning. Simon only allowed one Pirate to reach second base, and retired the final 13 batters he faced. Brad Ausmus deserves some credit for rolling with Simon through the final two innings of his start despite last week's outing, in which Simon quickly unraveled to allow five consecutive hits and three runs.
Joakim Soria worked a perfect ninth inning, his second in as many nights. Soria saved his fourth game of the season while filling in for injured closer Joe Nathan. Soria has yet to allow a baserunner in a save situation this year.
Rajai Davis provided all of the Tigers' offense tonight, homering off of Pirates starter Francisco Liriano in the top of the sixth inning. Davis got out in front of a first-pitch breaking ball, lifting it into the first row of the left field seats to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Davis also made a couple of nice running catches in center field.
Nick Castellanos got picked off of first base in the fifth inning, but he had two hits on the evening. Castellanos and Jose Iglesias were the only Tigers hitters to reach base twice tonight. Castellanos had a few solid defensive plays as well, including an inning-ending force play at third base with runners on first and second in the fourth.
Shane Greene earned Player of the Game honors after his dominant outing last night, walking away with 92 percent of the vote. Greene threw eight scoreless innings (sounds familiar, right?) in a 2-0 victory over the Pirates.