The Bucs had seven extra-base hits but still came up short against the Tigers Monday afternoon, losing 6-5 thanks in part to a disastrous outing from Jose Contreras.
The Pirates scored in the first, on a Neil Walker triple and an Andrew McCutchen sacrifice fly. But the Tigers tied the game in the fourth when Francisco Liriano, who didn't have his best command today, allowed three straight singles.
Then Detroit scored three more in the fifth. The Tigers walked and singled, and then Travis Snider struggled with Victor Martinez's two-out hit, which ended up as a two-run double. Then Jhonny Peralta doubled with a broken-bat hit to right.
Mike Zagurski pitched a scoreless sixth in his Pirates debut, and then the Bucs got two runs in the seventh on a double by Gaby Sanchez, a triple by Snider and a double by Neil Walker. That made it 4-3.
And then, in the bottom of the inning, the Pirates went with Contreras, because ?????. Contreras allowed two walks, a single and two more walks before finally being removed, having only gotten one out. Tony Watson got the last two batters to limit the damage to two runs. I gave the Pirates a bit of a free pass on Contreras when they added him to the roster, because his statistical record has been so limited the past couple of years and I simply figured the front office saw something they liked, but now I really don't know what they saw. He probably shouldn't be on the roster at all, and he certainly shouldn't be pitching in close games.
The Pirates scored two more in the eighth in an inning keyed by doubles by Garrett Jones and Sanchez, and an error by Prince Fielder. Unfortunately, Josh Harrison, who's on the team because ?????, pinch-ran for Sanchez and got picked off second, and Brandon Inge, who started because of Starling Marte's migraine, struck out to end the inning.
Justin Verlander struck out 13 batters and out-pitched Liriano, but the Pirates stayed in the game thanks to all the extra-base hits. Unfortunately, the decision to go with Contreras came back to bite them.