The Detroit Tigers settled for a split in their Wednesday doubleheader with the Pittsburgh Pirates, dropping the nightcap by a score of 8-3.
The Tigers fell behind early as the Pirates recorded most of their damage against Matthew Boyd in the second inning, where they tagged him for five hits, including a three-run home run by Jose Osuna.
The Tigers fought back in the fourth inning with a Jeimer Candelario leadoff triple. He’d eventually come around to score on a single from Nicholas Castellanos. The damage could have been more severe, but the Pirates managed to limit the Tigers to just one run.
This would prove costly as the Pirates added to their lead in the fourth as Boyd continued to struggle, loading the bases and eventually walking in another run. He would exit the game after just 3 2⁄3 innings, surrendering four runs, all earned, on seven hits while walking three batters.
The Tigers cut the Pirates’ lead to one run as a Leonys Martin home run (his second of the doubleheader), made it a 4-3 game in the fifth. But the Pirates would fight back against Daniel Norris, adding another run in the sixth inning. An errant throw by Buck Farmer would allow another Pirates run to score in the seventh, making it 6-3. The Pirates would further widen the chasm, posting two more runs in the eighth.
Despite a John Hicks double, the Pirates would slam the door in the ninth, snapping their five game losing streak.
A game of inches
Wednesday night’s game could have taken a much different path. The Tigers had quite a few good swings in the sixth inning, missing two home runs off of the bats of Jose Iglesias and Victor Martinez, respectively, by mere feet. Iglesias took one of the following pitches to the warning track, only to be quelled by Sean Rodriguez on a running play. Candelario missed his second extra base hit of the game the next inning as he fouled off a line drive just to the right of the right field foul pole.
A long-standing issue with the Tigers once again reared its head as baserunning miscues kept them from maximizing their offensive damage. In what could have been a multi-run fourth inning, Castellanos failed to score from second base on a deep double from Niko Goodrum, failing to take his secondary lead. Goodrum would subsequently be doubled off at second base, taking too many steps toward third base as JaCoby Jones scorched a line drive into the glove of Max Moroff.
The Tigers will wrap up their season series with the Pirates tomorrow afternoon at PNC Park, before heading to Baltimore for a three-game weekend tangle with the Orioles. Michael Fulmer will take the mound for Detroit, going up against Ivan Nova for Pittsburgh. First pitch is scheduled for 12:35 p.m. You can tune in to Fox Sports Detroit or listen in on your local affiliate of the Detroit Tigers radio network.
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