It sounds like a broken record at this point but the Pittsburgh Pirates’ offense failed to do much of anything against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on Tuesday night.
The offensive woes combined with a shaky outing from Luis Ortiz resulted in a 4-0 loss for the Pirates.
Ortiz labored through a 32-pitch first inning in which the Tigers plated a pair of runs. Javier Báez hit an opposite-field single to get Detroit on the board before Spencer Torkelson drove him in with a double to put the Tigers up 2-0.
After a scoreless second inning, Ortiz was his own worst enemy in the third. He allowed Torkelson to score from third on a throwing error on an attempted pick off to first. A few pitches later, Akil Baddoo scored from third on an Ortiz wild pitch.
After allowing the first two batters of the fourth inning to reach, Ortiz was lifted in favor of Yohan Ramirez. Ramirez was able to wiggle out of the jam and keep the Tigers from adding on to their lead.
It took Ortiz 81 pitches (44 strikes) to work only three-plus innings. He allowed four runs, three of which we earned, on seven hits, four walks and three strikeouts.
Ramirez and Ortiz combined for five scoreless innings of relief and were the only two bullpen arms used in the game.
At the plate, the Pirates managed only five hits and went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position. With a double and a walk, Carlos Santana was the only Pirates’ player to reach base twice.
Pittsburgh has only scored 20 runs in 13 games in the month of May, an average of 1.54 runs/game.
Tucupita Marcano, perhaps letting frustrations boil over, was ejected from the ballgame after getting called out on strikes to end the ball game.
A pair of Pirates’ outfielders were able to flash the leather. Left fielder Bryan Reynolds laid out in the second to rob Báez of a hit and potentially saved a run. In the sixth, Josh Palacios made a diving catch in right and turned it into an inning-ending double play at second base.
The Pirates and Tigers will wrap up their brief two-game series on Wednesday afternoon. It’ll be a battle of the southpaws as Rich Hill (3-3, 4.35 ERA) will square off with Eduardo Rodriguez (4-2, 1.57 ERA). First pitch: 1:10.