After a rain delay of over two hours, the Pirates and Tigers met for the first of a brief two game series on Tuesday night. Detroit was able to edge the Bucs 5-3, thanks in part to a three-run fourth inning.
The Pirates scored the game’s first run when Yu Chang blooped a double for his first hit on the season. Cal Mitchell scored all the way from first on the play.
The Tigers quickly responded to tie the game in the top of the next inning, before putting up a three spot in the fourth. Spencer Torkelson doubled off the centerfield fence to put Detroit ahead, and Harold Castro plated a pair with a line drive single up the middle, giving the Tigers a 4-1 lead.
The Castro single knocked Jose Quintana out of the game. The Tigers were able to record seven hits against the left-hander over 3.1 innings. Quintana was tagged with four earned runs and struck out five.
Quintana only allowed one baserunner over the first two frames of the game, but the Tigers hit him around in the third and fourth innings, driving up his pitch count resulting in a short night after a long delay.
Mitchell hit his second home run in as many games in the bottom of the fourth to cut the Tigers lead to just one. It was the first homer that Tigers starter Tarik Skubal surrendered to a left-handed hitter this season.
How 'bout Cal?! pic.twitter.com/ge7Lbx7q65
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) June 8, 2022
Other than the homerun, Skubal turned in another strong effort on the mound for Detroit. He was able to work seven innings, allowed three runs, struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter.
A pair of defensive miscues on the same play in the eighth allowed the Tigers to add on an insurance run. Mitchell misplayed a ball in right field, missed on an attempting diving catch and the ball went past him. It looked like the Pirates would still have a play at the plate, but a relay play from Chang was well up the line allowing Daz Cameron to score easily.
Travis Swaggerty went 0 for 3 in his Major League debut, but put together a couple good at-bats.
The Pirates and Tigers will wrap up this two-game set on Wednesday afternoon. Mitch Keller (2-5, 5.77 ERA) will matchup with Alex Faedo (1-2, 3.09 ERA).
- Calm, Cool, Cal: Mitchell is just another example of a Pirates prospect who has made a difference so far at the Major League level. After a not so great road trip, Mitchell now has a modest three-game hitting streak thanks to a pair of hits in this one. The 23-year-old now has back-to-back two hit games and has recorded a long ball in both contests. His smooth swing has translated well so far at this level, and he’s shown the ability to keep his composure and deliver quality at-bats against southpaws.
- Diego At Short: Diego Castillo has looked quite comfortable at short so far for the Pirates this season. He made two more heads-up plays, one in the seventh and one in the eighth to catch the lead runner trying to advance to third on a groundball, taking away prime scoring chances for Detroit. He entered play with three defensive runs saved at short in just 18 appearances at the position. One wonders why he wasn’t getting more chances at short instead of Rodolfo Castro, who didn’t look nearly as comfortable while he was with the big league club.
- Bright Futures: Both these teams find themselves in similar positions. Both seem to be on the tail-end of a rebuild with a wave of young talent making their way to their big league clubs. Both Skubal and Torkelson showed why they were considered some of the better prospects in baseball for Detroit. The Pirates roster also features a nice crop of young players, including three starters in the outfield on Tuesday (Jack Suwinski, Swaggerty, Mitchell).