Pedro Alvarez’s two-run double tied the score and kicked off a four-run seventh-inning rally that led the Pittsburgh Pirates to a come-from-behind 5-3 interleague victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
A double by Travis Snider scored Alvarez, putting the Pirates up by a 4-3 margin. Snider then advanced to third base on a wild pitch, and scored on a suicide bunt by Jordy Mercer.
The barrage came off Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez (5-5; 2.79 ERA), who had allowed only two hits through the first six innings – a solo home run and a single, both by Neil Walker.
Detroit (29-22) had taken a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning on an RBI double by Andy Dirks which was followed by Miguel Cabrera’s 15th homer of the season.
Sanchez lasted six-and-two-thirds innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, with nine strikeouts and one walk. Pirates starter A.J. Burnett had to settle for a no-decision. Reliever Bryan Morris (2-2; 3.24 ERA), back from one day at “AAA” Indianapolis, earned the win. Jason Grilli recorded his Major League-leading 22nd save in 22 opportunities.
Pittsburgh outhit Detroit 8-7 for their 15th win in the last 19 ballgames. At 33-20, the Bucs are tied with Cincinnati both for second place in the National League Central Division, two-and-a-half games behind St. Louis, and for the second-best record in the Majors. The Pirates and Tigers will meet one more time on Thursday night with Jeff Locke (5-1; 2.45 ERA) scheduled to start for the Pirates against Detroit’s Doug Fister (5-2; 3.65 ERA).