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Defensive Miscues Cost Pirates in 3-2 Loss to Tigers

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For the second straight game, the Pirates committed three errors and for the second straight game, the Pirates found the loss column. Two errors in the fifth inning paved the way for three runs in the inning for the Tigers, as they defeated the Bucs 3-2 in Detroit in the first game of a doubleheader.

Cole Tucker, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Andrew Knapp all committed an error in the contest, and the tigers took the lead on the costly miscue from the slick-fielding Hayes.

The first runs of the game didn’t come until the fifth inning, when Ben Gamel hit a two-run triple off Tigers right Alex Lange, who was brought into the game in relief of Michael Pineda to face Gamel. Gamel had a pair of hits on the afternoon.

Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, the lead didn’t last long. The home half of the inning began with a Jeimer Candelario double. Eventually, Tucker’s error and a walk to Akil Baddoo loaded the bases for the Tigers. Robbie Grossman delivered a sacrifice fly to center, and each runner moves up 90 feet.

That brought up Javier Baez who chopped one to Hayes at third. Hayes couldn’t handle the ball, was assessed with an error, and more importantly both runners scored, giving the Tigers a 3-2 lead. All three Detroit runs in the inning were unearned for Bryse Wilson.

Wilson had a strong appearance. He covered 3.2 innings, was tagged with the three unearned runs, walked one and struck out a season-high six batters.

Dillon Peters started the game for the Pirates in an opener-like role and gave the Pirates some needed length. The left-hander retired Austin Meadows to begin the fourth, before Derek Shelton brought in Wilson. Peters worked 3.1 scoreless innings, allowed one hit, walked one and struck out four batters. His strong start to the season continued with his longest outing on the year.

The Tigers strong bullpen preserved the Tigers lead and sealed the victory.

The second game of the straight doubleheader will begin in short order. Jose Quintana (0-1, 3.32 ERA) will square off with Alex Faedo, who will be making his Major League debut.

Takeaways

  • What A Start: A little bit of a double-meaning here as Peters not only had a strong outing against Detroit, but he has been very impressive in his first eight appearances of the season. After pitching 3.1 scoreless, the southpaw has yet to allow a run in his 16.2 innings to begin the year. Just as impressive, if not more so, he’s only yielded two hits to opposing batters. He’s thrived both pitching out of the bullpen and both of his turns starting games for the Bucs.
  • Strategy Is Paying Off: The Pirates use of Wilson in relief of Peters worked for a second straight time in as many opportunities in this one. On Apr. 27, the duo combined to blank the Brewers over six innings, with Peters covering a pair and Wilson pitching the other four. Though the Tigers scored three runs against Wilson on Wednesday, none of the runs were earned as the duo covered seven innings. One possible explanation for the success could be the completely different arm angles from the two.
  • Uncharacteristic For Key: Hayes is such a smooth defender at the hot corner that it was surprising to see him not only make the play on the Baez chopper, but to botch it the way he did, which allowed the Tigers to take the lead on the play. It was the third error for Hayes at third in now 22 games so far this season, matching the numbers of errors he committed in 95 games at third a season ago.
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