Rich Hill’s brilliant outing on the mound was backed by the offense finally breaking out as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Detroit Tigers 8-0 on Wednesday afternoon at Comerica Park.
Hill (4-3) allowed an infield single to lead off the bottom of the first inning but that was the only hit the Tigers (19-22) recorded against him across six scoreless innings.
Hill cruised through a brilliant outing on the mound. The veteran left-hander walked two and tied a season-high with seven strikeouts.
The victory marked the first time the Pirates (23-20) won a game in which Mitch Keller was not the starting pitcher since Apr. 29 against the Washington Nationals.
The Pirates caught a bit of a break in the second inning when a ball off the bat of Austin Hedges kicked off the glove of Matt Vierling in deep center. The Pirates scored a pair of runs on the play and Hedges was credited with a two-run double.
Two innings later, Rodolfo Castro lined a solo home run to left field to put the Pirates’ up 3-0. It was Castro’s fifth homer of the season.
Andrew McCutchen finished the game 2 for 5 with a pair of singles. His second base hit plated Bryan Reynolds from second and tacked on another run for the Pirates in the fifth.
Like McCutchen, Reynolds also collected two hits on the afternoon. One of those was Reynolds’ 15th double of the season, which is second-most in the National League and tied for the third most in baseball.
Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3) entered play with the second-lowest ERA in the major leagues with a mark of 1.57. The Pirates chased the left-hander after only five innings after putting up four runs against him.
The Pirates’ continued to add on against the Tigers’ bullpen. They scored four runs in the top of the seventh. Carlos Santana opened the scoring in the inning with an RBI-double while Hedges, Castro and Connor Joe each had RBI-singles.
The Pirates outhit the Tigers 14-1 as McCutchen, Reynolds, Castro, Hedges and Joe all produced multi-hit games.
Robert Stephenson, Jose Hernandez and Dauri Moreta combined for seven strikeouts in three innings of scoreless relief.
After an off day on Thursday, the Pirates will begin a six-game homestand beginning on Friday night for the start of a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. After Arizona, the Pirates will host the Texas Rangers for three games.