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Tigers beat Pirates 5-2 to gain doubleheader split

·4 min read

DETROIT — The Pittsburgh Pirates were hoping to get to .500 for the season on Wednesday.

Instead, they'll have to wait.

Tyler Anderson pitched five strong innings to help Pittsburgh beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 Wednesday in a doubleheader opener.

Detroit rallied for a 5-2 win in the second game behind Jonathan Schoop's go-ahead home run in a three-run fifth inning, leaving the Pirates at 8-10 following a 1-6 start.

The teams played the doubleheader of seven-inning games under pandemic rules after Tuesday night’s game was postponed on a snowy day in the Detroit area. There was still a white dusting on top of the bushes beyond the wall in centre field Wednesday, plus some flurries late in the game. The temperature at game time was 40 degrees, but Anderson didn't seem too preoccupied with that.

“The dugouts are fine," he said. "Not too bad in the dugouts.”

Spencer Turnbull (1-0) allowed one run and two hits in five innings to win the second game, his season debut after recovering from COVID-19. Gregory Soto pitched the seventh for his second save.

Miguel Yajure (0-1) gave up four runs and hour hits in 4 2/3 innings in his Pirates debut.

Erik González hit an RBI double in the first, but Niko Goodrum's leadoff homer tied the score in the third.

After Schoop's homer, rookie Akil Baddoo had a run-scoring double for his 12th RBI and Willi Castro singled in a run off David Bednar. Left fielder Bryan Reynolds made a diving catch of Robbie Grossman's sinking liner for the second out.

Phillip Evans homered off Bryan Garcia for a 4-2 lead in the sixth. Harold Castro hit an RBI single in the bottom half.

In the first game, Pittsburgh scored all its runs in the fourth inning after Michael Fulmer (1-1) retired the Pirates in order through the first three.

Anderson (2-2) allowed two runs and three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Kyle Crick worked a perfect sixth, and Richard Rodríguez retired the Tigers in order in the seventh and final inning for his second save.

Victor Reyes doubled in the third and scored on Robbie Grossman's sacrifice fly.

The Pirates answered immediately. Adam Frazier, Evans and Reynolds started the fourth with consecutive singles, the last one driving in Frazier. Evans scored on Colin Moran's groundout, and González added an RBI single one out later.

“I think we found a couple holes," Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “We did a nice job. We gave up a a run, we came right back. ... I thought our at-bats got better as the game went on.”

Schoop hit an RBI single for Detroit with two outs in the bottom of the inning.

Fulmer allowed three runs and four hits in four innings.

“I thought today went well," Fulmer said. "It’s just one of those games, one of those innings really. Everything else was pretty good.”


Detroit recalled INF Zack Short from the alternate training site, and he made his big league debut, drawing two walks.

“I tried to make the game as normal as possible," Short said. "Just a little bit colder than normal.”

Short also made a nice play at third base on Moran's grounder in the fourth, although that wasn't enough to prevent Pittsburgh's big inning.


The Tigers designated INF Renato Núñez for assignment before the doubleheader opener. In between games, they optioned RHP Joe Jiménez to the alternate training site and reinstated RHP Spencer Turnbull from the injured list. They also named OF Derek Hill as the 27th man for the second game.

Before the first game, Pittsburgh claimed OF Ka’ai Tom off waivers from Oakland, recalled INF Rodolfo Castro from the alternate site and designated OF Anthony Alford for assignment.


Pirates: 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes (left wrist inflammation) was expected to play for Pittsburgh’s alternate site team Wednesday night. Hayes is eligible to come off the 10-day injured list, but the team is remaining vague on a possible return.

Tigers: Manager A.J. Hinch said DH Miguel Cabrera (left biceps strain) will hopefully be back this weekend, but OF Nomar Mazara (left abdominal strain) will not return during this homestand.


The teams finish their three-game series on Thursday afternoon. RHP Mitch Keller (1-2, 8.74 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Pirates while José Ureña (0-3, 5.52) pitches for Detroit.


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Dave Hogg, The Associated Press