The Pirates entered play Wednesday night with yet another chance at their first series sweep of the season, but again came up short. Miguel Cabrera and Robbie Grossman each collected four hits as the Detroit defeated Pittsburgh 5-1 at PNC Park.
Cabrera picked up three RBIs – the first three runs for the Tigers in the game as part of his four hit effort. This marked his first four-hit night of the season, and his first since April 26, 2019 vs. the White Sox. Dating back to Tuesday night’s game, he has recorded hits in his last seven at-bats. Cabrera now has 2,971 career hits.
Grossman hit three singles before blasting a solo shot to right in the seventh inning, his 22nd homer of the year, extending the Tigers lead to 5-1. Like Cabrera, it was Grossman’s first game with four hits since 2019, with June 5 of that year being the last time with four hits for the Tigers’ left fielder.
Summer might be ending, but Robbie Grossman’s bat is still HOT. pic.twitter.com/GUU3bYSOD0
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) September 9, 2021
Jeimer Candelario also drove in a run for the Tigers with a fifth-inning single.
The Pirates again failed to complete a sweep this year, with their last coming Aug. 21-23 last season against the Brewers.
Mitch Keller started the game for the Pirates coming off arguably his best start of the season in his last outing against the Cubs. In this one, he gave up four runs on 10 hits in five innings of work. He walked one and struck out six. While he got hit around Wednesday, Keller has fourteen strikeouts and just one walk.
The Pirates’ bullpen again did a good job allowing just one run in four innings after pitching five shutout frames on Tuesday.
The Pirates’ lone run came with two outs and a man on third, the Tigers opted to pitch to Kevin Newman instead of intentionally walking him to get to Keller. Newman delivered with a single to left field on an 0-2 pitch, scoring Ben Gamel. Newman collected two hits on the night.
The Pirates will enjoy a day off Thursday before playing host to the Washington Nationals in a weekend series at PNC Park.
Stat of the Game:
- Even though Keller didn’t look great on Wednesday, for his career, the last month of the season has always been his best. In now nine career starts in September/October, Keller has a career 3.48 ERA (41.2ip/16er). He’s also picked up 51 strikeouts (11.01 K/9) in those nine starts. It will be interesting to see how Keller finished off the season in his last couple starts. Last year he ended the season with 11 hitless innings over his final two starts.
- Four Gamer for Gamel: With a ground-rule double in the second inning, Gamel extended his hitting streak to four games. During that stretch, he’s hitting .429 (6 for 14) with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. Since joining the Pirates, Gamel has now collected hitting streaks of four or more games four separate times, with his longest being an eight-game streak from July 1 to July 9. In the three-game series with Detroit, Gamel started all three games and went 5 for 11 (.455). Since coming to Pittsburgh, Gamel is now batting .259 (70 for 270) and entered play with an OPS just south of .750.
- Yoshi Raises Gamel One: With a double of his own that just missed going over the fence, Yoshi Tsutsugo extended his hitting streak to five games, hitting .316 (6 for 19) with a double, two homers and four RBIs in that span. Tsutsugo has also been doing a good job getting on base, drawing three walks in those five games. Since coming over to the Pirates from the Dodgers, he is batting .286 (16 for 56) and 12 of those hits have gone for extra bases (four doubles, a triple and seven home runs).
- B-Rey Breaking the Slump: After being mired in his first real slump of the season, Bryan Reynolds has started to heat up again over his last four games. After recording a hit Wednesday, Reynolds is 6 for his last 17 with (.353) with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs. In his 20 games prior to his last four, Reynolds was batting just .215 (14 for 65) with with a .599 OPS. Overall, it has been a phenomenal season for the All-star center fielder, who entered play just shy of a .300 average (.299) and a .900 OPS (.895). He’s done virtually the same damage from each side of the plate on the year – 136 wRC+ batting left-handed, 147 wRC+ batting right-handed.