Detroit Tigers shut out Pittsburgh Pirates second straight night

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Apr 15, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Davis (L) high-fives Cabrera (R) after Davis hit a solo home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in the young 2015 season, the Detroit Tigers notched back-to-back shutouts, this time shutting down the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 behind a gem from Alfredo Simon and a perfect ninth inning out of Joakim Soria.

The Tigers won the series from the Pirates and ended their first road trip of the season at an exceptional 5-1 to improve to 8-1 on the year.

The only difference making offense in the game belonged to the Tigers when Rajai Davis hit a rope to left field that just cleared the wall for a solo homer in the top of the sixth inning.

Simon continued the solid efforts by Detroit Tigers’ starters this year by going eight scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, no walks, one hit batter with two strikeouts. He retired the final 13 Pirates he faced.

He gave way to alleged interim closer Soria, pitching in his fifth game in the last six days. He recorded a 1-2-3 inning for the second night in a row. Tigers’ pitching help the lead off man off the bases in all nine innings.

While last week was notable for the potent offense of the Tigers, the pitching has been the story this week.

According to Tigers PR, Detroit is only the fifth team since 1914 with four shutouts in the first nine games.

Among the highlights:

  • Jose Iglesias reached based two more times in Wednesday’s game, but struck out in his final at-bat. It marks the first time all season that Iglesias has fanned.
  • Miguel Cabrera was held hitless in this game for just the third time this year, although he did reach base on a strange walk in which the ball bounced and hit the home plate umpire in the mouth, requiring his exit from the game. This led to a lengthy delay while a replacement behind home was recruited and the umpires decided Miggy did indeed deserve first base.
  • Victor Martinez did not play in this game after coming in as a pinch hitter in the first two games of the series (0-for-2 with 2 K’s)
  • Nick Castellanos was the only Tigers’ batter with more than one hit, but he was picked off first base after his first hit in the fifth inning.
  • The Tigers and Pirates joined the rest of baseball in celebrating Jackie Robinson Day with every player sporting his now retired throughout baseball #42. Thanks for what you did Jackie!

The red-hot Tigers will take a break on Thursday and head back to Detroit to start a 10-game home stand beginning Friday afternoon against the rival Chicago White Sox.

Game time is at 1:08 and David Price will face Jeff Samardzija.

Next: Justin Verlander's simulated game cut short

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