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Pirates can’t get to .500, fall 5-2 to Tigers in nightcap

The teams split the doubleheader.

MLB: Game Two-Pittsburgh Pirates at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates had a chance to even their record tonight after beating the Detroit Tigers in the first game of a doubleheader, but they couldn’t get it done in the nightcap, falling to the Cats 5-2 as Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull bested Miguel Yajure on the mound, as the Bucs managed just three hits on the night.

Despite the anemic night at the plate, it was actually the Buccos who struck first when Bryan Reynolds scored on an Erik Gonzalez double off Turnbull, but that was one of the few mistakes the Detroit starter would make all night, as he went five strong innings, giving up just that lone run on two hits while striking out six.

Yajure wasn’t nearly as effective, going four and a third, giving up four runs on four hits, including homers to Niko Goodrum in the second and Jonathan Schoop in the fifth. He also walked two batters and struck out four.

Pittsburgh got another run in the top of the sixth when Phillip Evans hit his fourth homer of the year, a solo shot off of a Brian Garcia sinker, but that was all the action behind the plate tonight for Pittsburgh.

Detroit’s Gregory Soto worked a perfect seventh inning, striking out two for his second save of the season.

So the Pirates earn a split of the doubleheader instead of the hoped-for sweep, and instead of a surprising 9-9 record, they fall to a more Pirate-like 8-10, though I think the overall record and performance so far is still probably higher than most people expected.

The Bucs and Tigers will go at it again tomorrow, with the series concluding with an early 1:10 afternoon game in Detroit in which Mitch Keller will hit the mound and take on Jose Urena. Snag this one tomorrow, and the Bucs will be back on track in the .500 train. It’ll likely depend on what kind of stuff the erratic Keller brings to the table.