The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped a 6-5 interleague game in Detroit on Memorial Day in the first game of a four-game “home-and-home” series with the Tigers. The first two contests are being played at Comerica Park in Detroit, while games on Wednesday and Thursday nights are scheduled for PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
Jhonny Peralta led Detroit with 4 hits and three RBIs, while Victor Martinez recorded two hits and two RBIs, and Prince Fielder tallied two hits and scored three times. Tigers starter Justin Verlander (6-4; 3.68 ERA) improved to 20-2 in interleague play, allowing three runs and seven hits over seven innings with 13 strikeouts and two walks. Jose Valverde earned his sixth save.
The Pirates (31-20) matched Detroit (29-20) with ten hits, but left nine runners on base, and had another – Josh Harrison, who represented the tying run – picked off second base in the eighth inning. The Bucs’ runs came on an RBI triple by Travis Snider, RBI doubles by Neil Walker and Gaby Sanchez, an error which allowed Garrett Jones to score, and an Andrew McCutchen sacrifice fly which followed a triple by Walker.
Snider was 3-for-5, while Walker, Jones and Sanchez contributed two hits apiece. Pirates starter Francisco Liriano (3-1; 2.35 ERA) suffered his first loss in four starts for his new team, surrendering four runs and eight hits over five innings with three strikeouts and two walks.
The Pirates captured the rubber game of a three-game series in Milwaukee with a 5-4 victory over the Brewers on Sunday. Again, both teams recorded ten hits.
Jordy Mercer was 3-for-4 for Pittsburgh, and Starling Marte, Michael McKenry and McCutchen each tallied two. Pedro Alvarez slugged a two-run double, Mercer tripled home McKenry. Jones and Marte both contributed RBIs with the sacrifice fly. Pirates starter Wandy Rodriguez (6-2; 3.58 ERA) worked only five innings, but earned the win while giving up three runs and seven hits, and striking out four hitters with no walks. Closer Jason grilli worked the ninth inning to become the first Pirates pitcher to ever record 20 saves before the end of May.
The Milwaukee scores came on a three-run double by Ryan Braun and a sacrifice fly from Carlos Gomez. Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo (3-5; 4.79 ERA) lasted just four innings, surrendered four runs and five hits, struck out seven batters and walked two.
The Pirates used four home run balls to defeat the Brewers 5-2 on Saturday night. Alvarez hit a two-run shot and a solo dinger, and McCutchen and Walker provided solo homers. Gomez banged two solo blasts for Milwaukee.
Alvarez, McCutchen and Walker all tallied two hits for the Bucs. Jeff Locke (5-1; 2.45 ERA) picked up the win in a scoreless six-inning starting performance. Locke allowed only three hits, struck out seven batters and walked three. Mike Fiers (1-3; 6.62 ERA), making a spot start for Milwaukee, took the loss.