Aug 12, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (left) is tagged out in a run down between third base and home plate by Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin (55) during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers dropped their 4th straight game, this time to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-2 in the second game of a 4 game home-and-home series. Robbie Ray made his return to the Tigers and deserved better than what he got. Ray worked on a new arsenal in Toledo by scrapping his curveball for a slider and throwing more changeups. Ray’s final line was 5+ IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, and 5 K, but his offense and defense let him down.
The Tigers got out to a lead in the top half of the first once again. Ezequiel Carrera hit a double off of the wall for a double. Ian Kinsler knocked Carrera in with a single up the middle to make the game 1-0 Tigers. Kinsler then went to third on a base hit from Miguel Cabrera to put runners at the corners with one out. Victor Martinez then stepped to the plate and hit a ground ball up the middle that Edinson Volquez gloved behind his back just to show the Tigers that when it’s going wrong, it’s going really wrong. He threw out Kinsler at home and retired J.D. Martinez on a fly out to end the inning. Once again, the offense was basically done after the first inning which is a theme on this road trip.
The Tigers then gave the lead right back thanks to kindly scored doubles. Russell Martin stung a ball up the left-center field gap for a double. Two batters later, Gaby Sanchez hit a ground ball gown the third base line which probably should have been gloved by Cabrera who plays 3rd in the NL parks to score Martin. Travis Snider then hit a routine fly ball to left-center which Carrera peeled off of for no reason because Rajai Davis had already peeled off thinking that Carrera would make the catch with ease. This scored Sanchez to give the Pirates the 2-1 lead.
The Pirates then extended their lead in the 3rd. Josh Harrison doubled down the third base line to lead off the inning. He stole third on a breaking ball in the dirt and scored on a Jordy Mercer single to make it 3-1 Pirates.
The Tiger inched closer in the top half of the 4th. Alex Avila hit his 60th career home run into the bullpens in left-center field to made the score 3-2. Ray then reached for the 2nd time in 2 at-bats with his first major league hit (he reached on an error earlier in the game).
The Pirates widened their lead in the 6th. Starlin Marte led the inning off with a walk which ended Ray’s night. Al Alburquerque then came into the game and promptly surrendered a double to Ike Davis after Marte stole 2nd to make the score 4-2.
The Tigers put together a rally in the 9th against Pirates closer Melancon. Avila hit a soft line drive into right field with one out. Nick Castellanos then hit a pinch hit single to put runners at 1st and 2nd with 1 out. Torii Hunter then flew out and Davis grounded out to end the threat and the game.
The bats did not produce at all against the Pirates bullpen and the Tigers bullpen did not technically surrender a run because Alburquerque’s run was charged to Ray. After Avila’s home run, the Tigers did not produce another hard hit ball and only produced an infield hit until the 9th.
For perspective on how bad the offense was tonight, the only Tigers to reach multiple times in this game were Cabrera, Avila, and Robbie Ray, the pitcher.