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Bednar’s Blown Save Spoils Pérez’s Strong Start, Olivares’ 2-HR Game



Edward Olivares, Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Through four opportunities begin the season, Pittsburgh Pirates closer David Bednar has matched his blown save total from all of 2023.

Bednar (1-1) converted 39 of 42 saves for the Pirates last season but blew his third save of the year in the bottom of the ninth against the Detroit Tigers, who defeated the Pirates 5-3 at PNC Park on Tuesday afternoon.

Bednar entered the game with a two-run lead but issued a free pass to Riley Greene before plunking Spencer Torkelson. Following the hit by pitch, Gio Urshela drove in a run with a base hit to center field. The Tigers (7-4) would plate the tying run on an error charged to center fielder Michael A. Taylor, whose throw to third ended up out of play.

Two batters later, pinch-hitter Kerry Carpenter singled to left field on a ball just out of reach of the drawn-in Alika Williams at shortstop. Jake Rogers put the Tigers ahead 5-3 with an RBI-single up the middle.

Roansy Contreras relieved Bednar and retired the final two batters of the inning. The Pirates (9-3) came up empty in the ninth after pinch-hitter Oneil Cruz, who represented the tying run, bounced into a fielder’s choice.

The Pirates built their lead thanks to two home runs from Edward Olivares and eight strong innings from starter Martín Pérez. 

Olivares tied the game in the bottom of the second with a solo home run to left field. Olivares ambushed Casey Mize’s first offering, a fastball and the bottom of the zone, and lined a 108.7 mph screamer over the fence. 

In the sixth inning, Olivares again smacked a homer to left field, this one off of left-handed reliever Tyler Holton. The blast extended the Pirates’ lead to 3-1. 

It marked the third time in his career where Olivares has had a multi-homer game and the first since last year against the Chicago White Sox on Sep. 4. 

The Pirates fell into an early 1-0 deficit in the first inning when Detroit recorded a pair of singles against Pérez. Torkelson drove in Matt Vierling with a base hit up the middle.

After Torkelson’s single, the Tigers had two on with one out, but Ke’Bryan Hayes made a terrific diving play to turn an inning-ending double play.

Pérez went on to hold the Tigers scoreless through the rest of his outing. After the first inning, only two Tigers’ hitters reached – Gio Urshela on a single in the fourth and Mark Canha on a double in the sixth.

Eight innings marks the longest start for Pérez since throwing a complete-game shutout against the Houston Astros while with the Texas Rangers on May 20, 2022. It’s also the sixth-straight quality start from the Pirates’ rotation. 

After he saved a run in the top of the first inning, Hayes drove one in to put the Pirates ahead 2-1 in the third. Bryan Reynolds doubled into the right-field corner and Hayes brought him in with a single to center. With two more hits on Tuesday, Hayes is up to seven multi-hit games already on the season. 

Henry Davis snapped an 0-for-16 skid with a base hit in the bottom of the ninth. Davis also walked twice in the game.

Up Next

The Pirates will have a travel day on Wednesday before the start of a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies beginning Thursday night. Jared Jones (1-1, 3.86 ERA) will make his third big-league start. Philadelphia hasn’t announced a starter. First pitch: 6:40 ET.

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