The Pittsburgh Pirates brought all cannons to bear against Detroit on Monday night as they tamed the Tigers 11-6 at PNC Park, ending a two-game losing streak.
It was the fourth time this season the Bucs scored at least eight runs in a game against an American League team. Clint Hurdle‘s squad improved their record to 63-55 and climbed into second-place in the National League Central, just two games behind the Brewers. Milwaukee defeated the Cubs 3-1 in Chicago.
The Jolly Roger crew claimed eight runs and nine hits by the end of the third, with the big blows being Starling Marte‘s bases-clearing triple in the first and Travis Snider‘s two-run home run in the second off reliever Justin Miller.
Russell Martin and Ike Davis got in on the hit parade with back-to-back homers in the sixth off rookie right-hander Kevin Whelan. It was Martin’s sixth round-tripper of the season while it was Davis’ eighth.
Snider went to work and collected his second home run, No. 9 of the season, off lefty Phil Coke in the eighth, putting the finishing touch on his three-hit, four-RBI game. It was Snider’s third career two-homer game.
Jeff Locke picked up his fourth win as he gave up four earned runs on eight hits over five-plus innings of work. The left-hander struck out one and walked four on 94 pitches.
Detroit (63-53) clawed their way on to the scorecard with one run in the first and three runs in the sixth off Locke. They added two more off the Bucs bullpen in the eighth.
Right-hander Jared Hughes struck out three over two innings as he was the first to answer the call to the bullpen in the sixth and seventh innings. He worked his way out of a based-loaded, no-out jam created by Locke in the sixth, allowing just one more run to cross.
Casey Sadler gave up two earned runs on three hits over two-thirds of the eighth and gave way to Tony Watson to finish out the frame. Justin Wilson came in and shut the door on the Motown Tabbies in the top of the ninth.
Justin Verlander had been the King of Interleague Play as he came into tonight’s contest with a streak of 14 consecutive wins and 25-2 overall record against NL clubs.
It ended as he gave up five earned runs in the first under the duress of a sore shoulder. Verlander will undergo further evaluation for the discomfort.
The second contest of the Pirates two-game interleague series with the Tigers at PNC Park is set for Tuesday with the first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Detroit will send right-hander Rick Porcello (13-7, 3.11 ERA) to the hill while the Bucs will go with Edinson Volquez (9-7, 3.70 ERA).
The 30-year-old right-hander will be making his 23th start and 24th appearance of the season on Tuesday night. Volquez has posted an 8-4 record in his last 16 starts. The game will be broadcast by ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.