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Pirates 3, Tigers 2: Bullpen falters late in extra innings loss

After another stellar start by Spencer Turnbull, the offensive support didn’t follow.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday night’s game between the Tigers and the Pirates was a bit of a pitchers duel. Although both starters exited after six innings, their performances and the bullpens that followed allowed this game to remain closely contested throughout in what ultimately became a 3-2 Pittsburgh victory.

After a walk and a single in the first inning with two outs, Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull struck out Melky Cabrera to retire the side. The Tigers threatened in the third inning, but failed to cash in on that chance. The Pirates scored the first run of the game in the fourth after Josh Bell walked and Melky Cabrera singled; the run scored on a fielding error by Ronny Rodriguez after a ball was put in play by Jung Ho Kang.

The Tigers quickly answered back in the bottom of the inning after loading the bases (via a single by Miguel Cabrera, a walk by Christin Stewart, and then Jeimer Candelario was hit by a pitch). Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to score Cabrera. John Hicks then hit a bloop single to shallow left to score Stewart, putting the Tigers on top 2-1.

Turnbull — or Red Bull, as the cool kids call him — came out in the fifth with some mid-90s filth and retired the side in order. Turnbull kept the Pirates off the board in the sixth as well, and gave way to Victor Alcantara in the seventh. He got some help from his defense, as Candelario made an excellent play after the ball bounced just over the third base bag, keeping the Pirates off the basepaths. Pirates starter Trevor Williams also exited after six; Kyle Crick came on in the seventh and retired the Tigers in order with relative ease.

Joe Jimenez came in to start the eighth inning... and he had a tough go of it. Jimenez allowed a single and a walk before accidentally hitting Starling Marte in the side of the head with a pitch to load the bases. Luckily, Marte was uninjured and remained in the game. Jimenez did not stay in, though. Daniel Stumpf came in and picked up a huge strikeout against Colin Moran, the first out of inning. An unfortunate slip by Stewart on a fly out allowed the Pirates to tally a run and tie the game before Stumpf closed out the inning. Stewart exited after the slip with what the Tigers have described as a “right medial quad spasm.”

Shane Greene came on in a tie game in the ninth inning and struck out two batters to keep the Pirates at bay. In the 10th, Buck Farmer allowed a double and a pair of singles, as the Pirates took a 3-2 lead. The Tigers weren’t able to muster up a threat in the bottom half against flame-throwing closer Felipe Vázquez, and fell in extra innings.

Notable Tigers Performances:

Spencer Turnbull: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO

Shane Greene: 1 IP, 1 BB, 2 SO

Tweets of the Game