For a match-up that has frequently felt like a schedule-forced rivalry, it feels like it’s been a while since the Tigers have had to play the Pirates. In a short two-game series, the first game against the two clubs went... pretty mid, as the kids would say.
Eduardo Rodriguez was supposed to be the night’s starting pitcher, but was swapped for Matt Manning amid swirling trade discussion. As we now know, ERod won’t be going anywhere this season, choosing to exercise his no-trade option against the Dodgers to stick around the Motor City.
Manning was not really at his best tonight, and some mistakes he made cost him. So let’s take a look at how the Tigers took the loss in Pittsburgh tonight.
Johan Oviedo was on the mound for the Pirates and he likewise had an uneven outing, unfortunately the Tigers were not able to capitalize quite the same way. In the top of the first Zach McKinstry doubled to start things off, then Spencer Torkelson had a one-out walk. With two men on base the next two outs ended the inning. In the home half Manning started out with a 1-2-3, nice start.
In the second Oviedo had his own three-up, three-down inning. In the bottom half Connor Joe got a one-out single, followed by an Endy Rodriguez triple to score Joe. A Liover Peguero homer then scored two runs. Alika Williams singled but no additional runs scored.
Onto the third and Riley Greene got a two-out double while Torkelson got another walk. Neither runner scored. In the home half Bryan Reynolds and Andrew McCutchen singled back-to-back. Three outs followed, keeping the damage limited to hits and not runs.
Miguel Cabrera was the sole Tigers’ baserunner in the top of the fourth, and I wish that were also true for the Pirates. In the home half Jared Triolo singled to start things off and then Williams hit a ground-rule double to move Triolo to third. A Josh Palacious sac fly then scored Triolo, putting the Pirates up 4-0.
The fifth was 1-2-3 for both sides. In the top of the sixth Torkelson hit a leadoff single, but he was soon eliminated in a double play. In the bottom half Manning did manage a clean 1-2-3 inning, and that was the end of the night for him, going 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR on 85 pitches. Not the worst but certainly not the best Manning has shown us.
In the seventh, Baez hit a leadoff single, then advanced to second on a Cabrera groundout. The Tigers then managed to get themselves on the scoreboard as a Baddoo single scored the speedy Baez from second. Neither the Tigers nor Bally Sports Twitter accounts cared enough about this scoring play to actually share a video of it I can show you. Chasen Shreve was out of the pen for the Tigers and had a clean 1-2-3 inning.
The eighth was also 1-2-3 on both sides, with an appearance from Trey Wingenter out of the Tigers’ pen.
The ninth rolled around and the Tigers didn’t get a chance to stage a comeback as the Pirates easily closed out the game with a win. But hey, it wasn’t a shutout.
Final: Pirates 4, Tigers 1