The Pirates managed just six hits – and only one after the sixth inning – and fell 5-2 to the Detroit Tigers Friday in a Grapefruit League matchup at LECOM Park.
Tigers starter Matthew Boyd yielded five hits in 5 1/3 innings, including Colin Moran’s second home run of the spring, a two-run shot that came with one out in the fourth inning.
After Boyd departed, the Bucs managed just one hit off three Tigers relievers in the final 3 2/3 innings – Will Craig’s two-out single in the eighth. Craig was the lone baserunner during that stretch.
Pirates starter Tyler Anderson worked the first four innings, giving up three hits and a run while walking two and striking out two.
One of those hits was a solo homer by former Pirates farmhand Robbie Grossman leading off the game.
The Pirates took the lead in the fourth. Ke’Bryan Hayes led off the inning with a base hit, and after he was caught attempting to steal second, Bryan Reynolds walked. Moran then followed with his two-run homer to left-center.
Trevor Cahill came on to relieve Anderson in the fifth and ran into immediate difficulty. He yielded back-to-back walks to Akil Baddoo and Grossman, then gave up a run-scoring single to Jonathan Schoop, with Grossman taking third.
Miguel Cabrera followed with a sacrifice fly, and after Cahill struck out Wilson Ramos, Sam Howard came on to relieve Cahill. The Pirates escaped further damage when Schoop was thrown out attempting to steal.
Cahill came back into the game in the sixth, looking to get some additional work, and again he found trouble, giving up an RBI single to Harold Castro. Fortunately for the Pirates, the Tigers ran themselves into two outs on that play, sparing Cahill of any further damage.
Both Adam Frazier and Kevin Newman picked up hits for the Pirates. Each went 1 for 2 and saw his average drop – Frazier’s to .559 and Newman’s to .708.
The Pirates (12-12) return to action against the Red Sox in a 1:05 p.m. start Saturday at LECOM Park. Chad Kuhl will take the mound for the Pirates against Boston’s Matt Andriese.
Kuhl will bring a 2-1 record and a 3.00 ERA into Saturday’s game. He has struck out nine in six innings of work so far.