The Pirates trotted out Tyler Anderson (0-0), while the Tigers opted for Matthew Boyd (0-1). Indeed, it was a matchup of lefties to begin the ballgame.
In the fourth inning, it was Colin Moran who broke open the scoring. Phillip Evans scored when Moran found a hole up the middle, putting the Pirates ahead 1-0.
The Tigers, however, promptly answered In the next half inning, thanks to veteran slugger Miguel Cabrera hitting his first home run of the spring; it was a solo job that knotted the game, 1-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, Renato Nunez doubled, scoring teammate Akil Baddoo and giving the Tigers their first lead of the afternoon, 2-1.
Anderson ended up pitching five innings for Pittsburgh, allowing two hits and one run, while picking up six strikeouts. Reliever Richard Rodriguez came on in the sixth, finishing his inning having given up two hits and one run. The Bucs got a scoreless inning out of Chasen Shreve in the seventh. Kyle Crick and Michael Feliz split time in the eighth, with the former being tagged for a run.
Notable offensive performances included Kevin Newman, who went 2-for-2, including a double, before being relieved of his duties for the day. Phillip Evans went 2-for-3 on the day, including his first double of the spring. Newman’s middle-infield partner on the afternoon, Cole Tucker, notched a triple.
The Pirates amassed eight hits on the afternoon, outperforming the Tigers by this metric. But the Tigers got the bigger hits: With RISP, the Pirates were 1-for-10 in the game; they left seven runners on base.
In the ninth, the Pirates tried to rally from behind 3-1; Liover Peguero led off with a single before Canaan Smith-Njigba walked. But Nick Gonzalez popped into a double play, promptly leading to the Pirates’ final opportunity on the afternoon. Troy Stokes Jr. struck out swinging, thus concluding the game, and securing a 3-1 victory for Detroit.
Rodriguez (0-1) was tagged for the loss, while Detroit’s Tyler Alexander (2-0) earned the win, with two scoreless innings under his belt. Bryan Garcia earned the save (1).
The Pirates (8-10 ST) return to action tomorrow afternoon against the Boston Red Sox. That game will take place at JetBlue Park in Ft. Myers, FL, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05. You can listen to the game via KDKA; MLB.com also suggests that MLB Network will be showing the game on delay in case you miss it and want to make it up.
Slated to start in that one for the Pirates is former Washington National Wil Crowe (0-0, 0.00, 5 Ks). He’ll match up against Nick Pivetta (1-1, 3.00, 8 Ks), the former Philadelphia Phillies’ starter.
With 10 games to go before the regular season begins, the next week will be a packed one for the Pirates, with games occurring everyday throughout the week and with no more off-days in the offing.