DETROIT -- Francisco Liriano tossed seven scoreless innings, and a four-run ninth weathered a late comeback attempt as the Pirates completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers with an 8-4 win on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.
DETROIT -- The hard-to-hit left-hander went up against the team that hits lefties hard on Thursday afternoon. It was no contest.
Francisco Liriano pitted his miniscule opponents' average (.189) against the masculine Tigers' .276 average against southpaws -- third best in the Majors -- and pulled rank with seven scoreless innings in the Pirates' 8-4 win to cap a three-game sweep at Comerica Park.
All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full rosters Monday
Watch selection shows on ESPN; Final Vote to get underway Monday
By Mark Newman
It was historic because it happened exclusively online. It was personal because it decided the fate of your favorite players. It was intense because you argued a lot. And it was teamwork because you helped shatter a Major League Baseball record.
After 65 consecutive days of relentless fan voting to determine starting positions players for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, the largest All-Star balloting program in sports closed at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Stats of the Day: Bucs arms on historic pace
Liriano tosses seven scoreless innings for Pirates staff with sub-3.00 ERA
By Roger Schlueter
Special to MLB.com |
Here are four interesting items from around the big leagues Thursday:
• Francisco Liriano kept the Tigers off the board for seven frames, and the Pirates completed a three-game sweep with an 8-4 victory in Detroit. As a team, Pittsburgh owns a historic 2.91 ERA. The club has entered the All-Star break with a sub-3.00 ERA only once: in 1968. That year, Ron Kline, Bob Veale and Co. compiled a 2.65 ERA.
DETROIT -- The Bucs' annual "Take your father to work" week will have a special and heart-tugging conclusion on Friday night, when the Pirates will open a 10-game homestand and an Independence Day weekend of ball at PNC Park.
The 15 dads who have spent the last three days here with their sons are traveling with them back to Pittsburgh. Prior to the series opener against the Indians, they will deliver 15 simulatenous first pitches to their sons.
DETROIT -- Hit on the head by Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera's arm as he crossed the bag on an infield hit in the sixth inning of the Pirates' 9-3 win over the Tigers, Neil Walker got a temporary bad feeling. How bad?
By Tom Singer and Alejandro Zúñiga
MLB.com |@Tom_Singer |
DETROIT -- Second baseman Neil Walker's two-homer night propelled the Pirates to a season-high 21 hits as they topped the Tigers, 9-3, on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.
Pittsburgh took command with a five-run third against Detroit starter Alfredo Simon. The inning was highlighted by Walker's first home run of the night, which followed a leadoff double from third baseman Josh Harrison. Walker, left fielder Starling Marte and designated hitter Pedro Alvarez all homered in the eighth inning off reliever Joba Chamberlain to all but seal the win.
The Detroit DH had said postgame the Cole pitch that hit him midway through the Pirates' 5-4, 14-inning win Tuesday night had been intentional, and for that he had no respect for the player, his team and its coaches.
DETROIT -- A couple of years ago, the Pirates' annual Father's Trip happily coincided with the announcement of the National League All-Star team. The fathers of Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and Jason Grilli were all in Wrigley Field to celebrate with their sons.
Wednesday, during this summer's Father's Trip, the tables were turned for one of the dads: Tom Walker, Neil's dad and a former Major Leaguer himself, received notification he had been chosen for the Texas League Hall of Fame.
Hanson rips inside-the-park home run for Triple-A Indianapolis
Pirates No. 7 prospect goes 3-for-4 in his first game back from the disabled list
By Alex M. Smith
Well, that didn't take long.
In Alen Hanson's first game back from the disabled list, the Pirates' No. 7 prospect (No. 77 overall) ripped a third-inning solo inside-the-park home run off the center-field wall, which ultimately provided the winning margin in Triple-A Indianapolis' 2-1 win over Columbus on Wednesday.
DETROIT -- Neil Walker's double down the right-field line scored the go-ahead run in the 14th inning as the Pirates outlasted the Tigers, 5-4, on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
Until the eighth inning, it seemed as if the Buccos would claim the series opener easily, but a pair of Martinezes quickly erased a two-run deficit. Two batters after Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez reached on a leadoff single to left field, J.D. Martinez launched the second pitch he saw from Tony Watson over the left-field wall. But neither team broke the tie until the 14th, when Josh Harrison doubled off lefty reliever Tom Gorzelanny and Walker drove him in a batter later.
Baserunning error could have cost Bucs game without 14th-inning double
By Tom Singer
DETROIT -- "Gorkys' gaffe" might have found a permanent place in Pirates history -- had the Bucs not rendered it essentially trivial by overcoming it to beat the Tigers, 5-4 in 14 innings. Infamy grows in miscues, not in unlikely triumph.
"I didn't think we'd get away with it," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said bluntly about Gorkys Hernandez's baserunning blunder that cost the Bucs the go-ahead run in the 14th -- briefly.
DETROIT -- When it was time to sum up the Pirates' 5-4, 14-inning escape, manager Clint Hurdle could have started at a lot of places. He chose to start with Deolis Guerra.
"Guerra shows up," Hurdle said of the right-handed reliever, who was plugged into the bullpen four days ago. "Pitched three out of four days, and gives us three more innings. That's fantastic. ... 10 years toiling [in the Minors], and to come back and get the win."
DETROIT -- As he does every time the schedule brings him to Detroit, Michigan-born-and-raised Clint Hurdle talks emotionally about the chance to return to his roots. But the Pirates' manager isn't the only one who has come home.
Bucs outfielder Gorkys Hernandez is experiencing a double-homecoming. He was originally signed by the Tigers as a 17-year-old free agent from Venezuela in 2005. And, more importantly, Hernandez has been brought back by the team with which he made his big league debut in '12.
PITTSBURGH -- Back during Gerrit Cole's 2013 Major League infancy, before he'd established any discernible identity (aside from the celebrity of being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft), just to clue in the sort of pitcher they were talking about, some journalists referred to him as "Gerrit Verlander." You know, comfortably in the mid-90s and able to dial it up to triple digits when needed in the later innings.
That association was only reinforced early in Cole's rookie season when -- pumped to be on the Angel Stadium mound within a short drive of his Newport Beach, Calif., home -- he uncorked a 101-mph pitch, the fastest recorded since 2008 by a starting pitcher other than Justin Verlander.
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates entered the seventh inning down by two runs with the heart of the order coming up against Braves lefty Alex Wood, who'd been all but unhittable in Sunday afternoon's 2-1 loss at PNC Park. Francisco Cervelli formulated a plan in his mind as the inning unfolded.
PITTSBURGH -- Left-hander Alex Wood quieted the Pirates into the eighth inning on Sunday as the Braves downed Pittsburgh, 2-1, to snap a five-game losing streak.
Nick Markakis' RBI single in the fifth and Jace Peterson's solo homer in the seventh were all the help Wood needed to snap a three-decision losing streak. Wood allowed five hits in 7 1/3 innings, not issuing a walk while striking out eight. He allowed three runs or fewer for the 13th time in his 15 starts.
PITTSBURGH - Andrew McCutchen put pitchers on guard prior to Sunday's game -- then put a guard on.
When he came to bat in the first inning of the Bucs' 2-1 loss to the Braves, McCutchen wore an elbow guard on the left arm where he had been hit by a Julio Teheran pitch in the first inning of Saturday's game.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates made a series of roster moves Sunday morning, calling up two outfielders as they balanced out their bench and bullpen.
Pittsburgh designated outfielder Jose Tabata and right-hander Chris Volstad for assignment. To fill their spots on the active roster, the Bucs selected the contract of outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and recalled utility man Steve Lombardozzi from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Bucs wade through rain, Cutch injury to beat Braves
By Mark Bowman and Tom Singer
PITTSBURGH -- Pedro Alvarez has only been along the ride for most of the first half of the season, but he may be ready to give the Pirates a lift. Alvarez's two-run double triggered a five-run first on Saturday and the Bucs went on to an 8-4 win over Atlanta at rain-soaked PNC Park.
Julio Teheran's road woes continued as the opening inning caved in on him shortly after he hit Andrew McCutchen the left elbow with a pitch, forcing the All-Star outfielder's removal from the game. Although he settled in to hold the Pirates to one additional run in his six-inning outing, Teheran's road ERA swelled to 7.40 (40 earned runs in 48 2/3 innings).
PITTSBURGH -- As the expression goes, some Pirates might have been thinking between rain delays on Saturday at PNC Park, "I'd stand on my head to help us win." Starling Marte actually did it, though. He provided the lighter side of the Bucs' 8-4 win over Atlanta with a seventh-inning slide that didn't quite go as designed.
Aboard with a leadoff single with Pedro Alvarez at bat, after the Pirates' lead had been pared to two runs by three Braves tallies in the top of the inning, Marte took off for second, looking for his 16th steal. Instead, he found his Must C (catapult) moment: As he lowered into his usual head-first slide, his upper body stuck in the ground saturated by rains, and he briefly wound up on his head before toppling over.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog
Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter
@Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
PITTSBURGH -- After recording only two outs in a disastrous outing last time out, Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton did his best to eat up innings in the Pirates' 8-4 win Saturday at PNC Park. But he saved a special bite for Deolis Guerra.
Morton bounced back from his two-out, nine-run performance against the Nationals as he held the Braves to four runs over six innings. He overcame a 15-minute delay to start the game and a 31-minute rain delay in the fifth inning. Morton let eight batters reach in his first 2 1/3 innings, then retired 11 straight.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on
Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Marte flips over head while sliding into second base
By Chris Landers |
You're probably thinking, "That's odd, I assumed that sliding into second base was a fairly simple endeavor, and one that wasn't open to much interpretation." Sure, you could go feet-first or head-first, depending on the situation or personal preference, but that would just be reinforcing the status quo sliding paradigm, man.
Instead, may we all follow the example of Pirates left fielder Starling Marte, baserunning visionary and proprietor of the finest partays, who turned his attempted steal of second during Saturday's game against the Braves into an opportunity to ... play leap-frog with himself, or something.
PITTSBURGH -- Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has seen a lot during his time as a player, coach and manager. But the fourth inning of Pittsburgh's 3-2 win over Atlanta on Friday night presented something entirely new to Hurdle.