This was just one of those usual games where the Pirates go up against Justin Verlander and have him throw 40 pitches and get five runs in the first inning. You know, typical. Verlander had to leave after only one inning due to some shoulder soreness and the Pirates added on five more runs over the night and put a beat down on the Tigers are losing the previous two games against a pretty bad Padres team.
The Pirates sent 10 men to the plate in the first inning with four hits, two walks, and two Tigers errors. The Tigers defense was comically bad all night and they had three errors on the night and gave the Pirates multiple extra bases at really inopportune times. Whatever, I will take it.
Every Pirates starter registered a hit with Josh Harrison, Starling Marte, Travis Snider, and Jordy Mercer all having multiple hits while Gregory Polanco walked in each of his first two plate appearances. Both Snider and Harrison each had two hits on the night and the Pirates had eight extra base hits (Snider had three).
Things were really all good for the Pirates tonight. Verlander hasn't been overly good this year but he still is capable of shutting down a lineup and after giving up a run in the top of the first inning they made sure they got that and many more back.
This was the first time in a long time that the Pirates have scored runs in two innings. They got the five in the first and then added on three more in the second. Travis Snider went oppo bomb for a two run shot to really put the exclamation point on it. The Tigers were really gassed after going to 19 innings yesterday and they had to call up three different arms from AAA and the Pirates feasted on it. The Tigers actually made the game somewhat interesting after they cut the Pirates lead to 8-4 in the sixth inning with a three run inning but the Pirates responded back with back-to-back bombs from Russell Martin and Ike Davis. That pretty much put the game away.
Snider also went deep a second time in the ninth inning of lefty Phil Coke. He went to straight away center that landed in the Pirates bullpen. That is a shot.
Jeff Locke really wasn't overly good today but that is where a big lead can really come in handy. The top of the second inning saw Locke walk the first two hitters of the inning before Snider completed a double play by throwing out Alex Avila at home trying to score on a sacrifice fly. Locke then got into even more trouble in the sixth as he loaded the bases and gave up a run before Jared Hughes came in to shut the door and minimize the damage. In five plus innings of work Locke gave up four runs on eight hits and walked four other batters. That is not a good line. Thankfully the offense made it a moot point.
The Pirates got a pretty lucky break in terms of facing the Tigers this series. They don't have to see David Price and with Verlander only going one inning (and struggling this year), and Anibal Sanchez going on the DL, and missing Rick Porcello because of him throwing a few innings of the 19 inning game yesterday. They also face a spot starter tomorrow so while this series is still going to be tough against a good Tigers lineup it could have been a lot worse because they have a pretty outstanding pitching staff that is a little bit in shambles now.
The game really wasn't as easy as the score would indicate. The Tigers offense still came up with 14 hits and six runs so it's not like the Pirates totally shut them down but when you score 10 runs those kinds of things can happen. I don't expect the Pirates to score 10 runs in multiple games this series but it's good to know that in a game where they give up six they can get the win.