The Detroit Tigers, despite damage control from their bullpen and an attempted ninth inning rally, dropped the second half of their day/night double-header with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday night by a score of 8-6, allowing the Pirates to complete a three-game sweep. It is the Tigers’ first 0-3 start since 2008.
The Tigers jumped on Pirates starter Chad Kuhl early, with Miguel Cabrera, Nicholas Castellanos, and Niko Goodrum, making his Tigers debut, stringing together a sequence of hits that gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead. The Pirates battled back with home runs by Josh Harrison and Starling Marte, taking a 3-2 lead in the third inning before stepping on the gas, capitalizing on a wild pitch from Buck Farmer, a base hit from Francisco Cervelli, and a home run from David Freese, coming away with an 8-3 lead after the fifth inning. The Tigers managed to weather away at the Pirates lead, drawing to within two runs before Felipe Rivero slammed the door, securing the Pirates’ 8-6 victory.
Cabrera looked very comfortable today, notching three hits, all for extra bases, and drawing a walk in five plate appearances. Among his three hits was his 463rd career home run, granting him sole possession of 35th on the all-time list of career home run leaders. Cabrera also continues to flash his opposite field prowess, delivering his home run 383 feet into the right field grandstand at 106.3 miles per hour.
Ryan Carpenter, making his first career major league appearance, could have performed worse. His 69 pitches in just three innings of work aren’t great, but he showed poise as he dealt with a two on, two out jam in the first inning.
Drew VerHagen made the most of his two innings of work, striking out three and only allowing a base runner on a bounced third strike.
Farmer, after a shutdown fourth inning, unraveled in the fifth inning as he surrendered five runs on four hits, including a home run, to go with a wild pitch. He struck out four, but was largely unimpressive.
Victor Reyes, making his major league debut, made a questionable throw on a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, allowing Harrison to advance to third base as Reyes skipped the first cutoff man in an attempt to throw out Elias Diaz at home. Harrison would come around to score later in the inning.
Later in the fifth inning, Reyes and Jose Iglesias converged on a fly ball in shallow left field. As Iglesias awaited the ball, Reyes dove in, catching Iglesias off guard, seemingly injuring both himself and Iglesias. Reyes would leave the game due to a forearm laceration and is listed as day-to-day. Iglesias remained in the game and appears to be fine.
The Tigers continue their opening homestand as the Kansas City Royals come to town for three afternoon games, beginning Monday. Francisco Liriano will take the mound for the Tigers against Jason Hammel. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 pm ET. You can watch on Fox Sports Detroit or listen on 97.1 The Ticket FM.
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