Ben Gamel was probably still sore from sacrificing his body in Sunday’s game against the Chicago Cubs. However he did not seem to care as he led the Pirates to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night at PNC Park.
Gamel saved a run in the top of the sixth when he made a nice running grab while crashing into the left field fence. In the home half of the inning, Gamel delivered a clutch two-RBI single with two outs to give the Pirates a 3-2 lead.
Big Game Gamel pic.twitter.com/97uPZmHG1F
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 8, 2021
On the night, Gamel collected three hits – all singles, giving him hits in three straight games. The two RBIs were Gamel’s first since Aug. 15 against the Brewers.
Ke’Bryan Hayes scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Colin Moran in the first, giving the Pirates an early 1-0 lead.
The Tigers sent eight men to the plate in the third and scored a pair of runs. Derek Hill was credited with a triple into the left field corner that scored Willi Castro, tying the game. Hill scored on an RBI single from Robbie Grossman, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
In his first start off the injured list, Dillon Peters looked rusty, but was able to limit the damage in his four innings. He was tagged with two earned runs, gave up three hits, three walks and had five strikeouts – the most he’s had with the Pirates.
The Pirates went just 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left 14 runners on base.
The Bucs’ bullpen combined to throw five scoreless innings as Chris Stratton picked up his third save of the season for the Pirates, sealing the victory.
The Pirates will again try to pick up their first sweep of the season on Wednesday at 6:35. Mitch Keller (4-10, 6.23 ERA) will look for his second straight solid outing opposite Matt Manning (3-6, 6.29).
Stat of the Game:
- Since the calendar flipped to August, Pirates’ starting pitchers have recorded wins just twice – Mitch Keller Aug. 20 vs. St. Louis and JT Brubaker Aug. 24 vs. Arizona. Granted, during those 36 games, the Pirates have only won nine times. Pirates’ starters have not been able to work deep into ballgames often this season, As Peters went just four innings himself on Tuesday.
- Table Setter: In his third straight game batting in the leadoff spot Tuesday night, Hayes collected a pair of singles. He is now 6 for 14 (.429) with a double, four runs and a pair of RBIs since moving to the top spot in the order. He’s picked up hits in all three games. The Pirates as a team are averaging 5.67 runs per games since Shelton penciled Hayes in the leadoff spot. Hayes has not had the year he hoped for offensively, but the move in the lineup has seemed to have jolted him for now.
- Gamel is a Gamer: Gamel made another fantastic catch in left field without any regard for his well-being – crashing hard into the fence to save a run and take away a hit. He has been a nice addition to the Pirates since being acquired back on May 9. After recording three more hits Tuesday, he’s hitting .258 with 14 doubles, three triples and six home runs in 92 games with the Bucs. Arbitration eligible for the final time this offseason, Gamel has earned a roster spot on the 2022 roster and should be starting in the outfield flanking Bryan Reynolds in either left or right field.
- Alford Enjoying September: So far to begin the month, Anthony Alford is having a strong start to the last full month of the season. After drawing a walk in his only plate appearance Tuesday, Alford has a slash line of .238/.304/.667 (.971 OPS). He has three homers and five RBIs in 23 plate appearances. Though strikeouts remain a big problem for him, Alford has been much better overall since being recalled from Triple-A back on Aug. 7, entering play with a .738 OPS in 17 games.