Seventh-inning rally gives Pirates comeback win over Tigers


With a rally in the bottom of the seventh, the Pittsburgh Pirates overtook the Detroit Tigers for a 5-3 victory on Wednesday in Game 1 of a two-game set at PNC Park. The Bucs, who also won Tuesday in Detroit, pushed their record to 33-20.

The Pirates trailed 3-1 when Garrett Jones dropped a one-out single into center field and Russell Martin walked on four pitches against Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez, who had been dominant to that point.

May 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin (left) and relief pitcher Jason Grilli (39) react after defeating the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pedro Alvarez came up next, and the Bucs’ third baseman drove a first-pitch double deep to left-center that scored both runners. On the next pitch from Sanchez, Travis Snider blasted a double off the Clemente Wall in right to lift the Bucs to a 4-3 lead.

After Snider went to third on a wild pitch, Jordy Mercer’s bunt on a suicide squeeze play scored Snider to complete the four-run rally.

Righthander Bryan Morris and lefthander Tony Watson came out of the Pirates bullpen to help maintain the win with an inning each. Jason Grilli closed the door in the ninth to pick up his major league-leading 22nd save.

The Pirates took an early 1-0 lead in the fourth when Neil Walker, for the second night in a row, hit a solo home run to right-center field to get the Pirates on the scoreboard. Walker homered in the 11th inning Tuesday night to deliver a win at Comerica Park.

Detroit grabbed the advantage  when they scored three runs on four hits in the top of the fifth inning against Pittsburgh righty A.J. Burnett. Center fielder – and Pittsburgh native – Don Kelly walked, went to second on a wild pitch, and was doubled home by left fielder Andy Dirks with one out. With two outs, third baseman Miguel Cabrera banged a two-run home run, his 15th, into the right-field bleachers.

Sanchez saw his record drop to 5-5 this season. He gave up seven hits while striking out nine in 6 2/3 innings. Burnett did not last seven innings for the first time in six starts, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks while striking out four.


The Detroit Tigers (29-22) will send righthander Doug Fister (5-2, 3.65 ERA) to the hill at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, while Pittsburgh will counter with lefthander Jeff Locke (5-1, 2.45 ERA). The game will be broadcast on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

From The Clipboard: All four of Brandon Inge’s RBI’s have given the Bucs a lead and three of them have been game-winners. The utilityman began his career in Detroit…Russell Martin’s 10 caught stealings are the most by a Pittsburgh catcher since Jason Jaramillo and Ryan Doumit had 11 in 2009…Travis Snider has 11 RBIs in May, which is the most since he knocked in 18 in July of 2011 while he was playing with the Toronto Blue Jays…Tuesday night marked the Bucs’ eighth shutout of the season, and it was the third 1-0 blanking in the last nine games.