Detroit at Pittsburgh

W: R. Colon (1-0) L: K. Wells (0-3)
S: T. Jones (21)
HR: DET - M. Thames (16), C. Shelton (15)   PIT - J. Bautista (10)

Guillen saves Rogers; Tigers extend win streak to seven

CBS wire reports

PITTSBURGH -- Jim Leyland would never say so publicly, but he let his players know what's on his mind: He is back at home in Pittsburgh, and the Detroit Tigers had better not lose there.

Carlos Guillen's two-run triple highlighted Detroit's four-run third inning and the Tigers overcame Kenny Rogers' shaky start to beat Pittsburgh 7-6 Friday night, the Pirates' 14th loss in 15 games.

Curtis Granderson singled and scored to start the third, then protected a one-run lead by making an excellent leaping catch of Ronny Paulino's line drive into the left-center gap to end the eighth with the potential tying run on third.

Granderson works daily with a former Gold Glove outfielder who has made numerous exceptional catches in Pittsburgh for Leyland, Tigers coach Andy Van Slyke. As Granderson said, "It's starting to turn into some good stuff."

"I was kind of excited when he caught that ball," said reliever Joel Zumaya, who rooms with Granderson on the road. "I owe him a steak dinner."

Leyland doesn't have to go far for his home cooking while managing in PNC Park for the first time against the team that gave him his first big league managerial job in 1986.

Leyland's house is crowded by friends and family members, and he said, "It's great when it's happening, but I'll be glad when it's over."

"Leyland, we wanted to win for him," Zumaya said. "He kind of busted on us, saying, `Hey we're going back to my old place, we'd better kick their rear ends.' It was a little tough, we were a little shaky, but we came out victorious."

Leyland drew nearly all cheers during the pregame introductions, but joked, "Some of the people booing me were the ones I left tickets for."

The Tigers are playing well no matter the locale, winning seven in a row and 13 in 14 games to match the same 80-game record of one of the best teams in club history. They are 30 games above .500 at 55-25, the same record as the 1984 World Series championship team that started 35-5.

That they are thriving following five successive seasons of 90 or more losses, and with the manager who wanted to return as Pittsburgh's skipper last fall but was passed over for Jim Tracy, only makes it worse for the Pirates. They have lost 15 of 17 to fall to 27 games under .500.

The Pirates are on pace for a 14th consecutive losing season and, in a quirky twist, each of the three full-season managers during that streak were on the Tigers' bench: Leyland (1986-96) and coaches Gene Lamont (1997-2000) and Lloyd McClendon (2001-05).

Worse still for the Pirates: Chris Shelton homered against the club that gave him away in the Rule 5 draft three years ago, following Marcus Thames' two-run shot in the second against Kip Wells with his 15th homer.

"He's been struggling a little bit, but the ball was flying -- I didn't think at first it was going to go out," Leyland said.

The Pirates inexplicably left Shelton unprotected in a draft in which they drew laughter from baseball executives at the 2003 winter meetings by having five of the first six players drafted.

Wells (0-3), the major league leader with 18 losses last season, made a third consecutive poor start since missing the first 2 1/2 months of the season following surgery to repair a blocked artery. He was roughed up for seven runs and six hits in 2 1/3 innings, allowing two homers, a triple, hitting a batter and throwing one of three Pirates wild pitches.

Wells, who has long baffled the Pirates with his inability to win despite having possessing excellent talent, frustrated them again during his 21st loss in 29 decisions the last two seasons. He was ahead in the count to both Thames (0-and-2) and Shelton (0-and-1) only to leave hittable pitches over the plate.

"He was missing with his pitches," Tracy said. "He'd get ahead of the count, get guys to two strikes but couldn't finish them off. He couldn't locate his pitches."

The Tigers gave Rogers a six-run lead, but he was lifted during a three-run Pirates fifth keyed by Sean Casey's two-run triple and didn't last long enough to get the victory. Roman Colon (1-0) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the decision. Zumaya's throwing error on what looked to be an inning-ending Mike Edwards grounder in the eighth led to Jose Hernandez's RBI triple, just ahead of the Granderson catch.

Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his 21st save in 24 opportunities. The Pirates put runners on first and second but Jones got Bay to ground out to end the game -- the second time in three nights Bay made the final out with the tying run on base.


  • Thames' homer was his 16th and came after Magglio Ordonez's leadoff single.
  • Wells has a 14.34 ERA.
  • Pittsburgh is 2-11 against the AL, Detroit is 14-2 against the NL.
  • The Pirates lead the majors with 23 one-run losses. They are 8-23 in one-run games.
  • Pirates 3B Freddy Sanchez, the NL's top hitter with a .363 average going into the night, sat out with back spasms.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Chris Shelton hits the second of back-to-back homers off Kip Wells in the second inning.  (AP)
Chris Shelton hits the second of back-to-back homers off Kip Wells in the second inning. (AP)

Players of the Game

M. Thames
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

J. Bautista
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF5110011 .287
Placido Polanco, 2B4100001 .286
Ivan Rodriguez, C4000112 .296
Magglio Ordonez, RF5221011 .314
Carlos Guillen, SS5112001 .297
Marcus Thames, LF3122111 .304
    Joel Zumaya, P0000000 .000
    Todd Jones, P0000000 .000
Chris Shelton, 1B2111201 .273
Brandon Inge, 3B2000222 .235
Kenny Rogers, P3000004 .143
    Roman Colon, P0000000 .000
    Alexis Gomez, LF1000001 .258
3B - Carlos Guillen (2, Wells)
HR - Marcus Thames (16, Wells), Chris Shelton (15, Wells)
RBI - Magglio Ordonez (58), Carlos Guillen 2 (46), Marcus Thames 2 (32), Chris Shelton (36)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Polanco-Guillen-Shelton
E - Chris Shelton 2 (3, MISSED CATCH)
Detroit Tigers
Kenny Rogers 4.1855021 3.72
Roman Colon (W,1-0) 1.2100020 5.23
Joel Zumaya (H,19) 2110010 2.25
Todd Jones (S,21) 1100000 6.19
HBP - J. Bautista (by Kenny Rogers)
Pitches-Strikes - Kenny Rogers 73-48, Roman Colon 17-12, Joel Zumaya 35-22, Todd Jones 13-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kenny Rogers 5-5, Joel Zumaya 3-3, Todd Jones 2-2
Batters Faced - Kenny Rogers 21, Roman Colon 6, Joel Zumaya 8, Todd Jones 5
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jose Bautista, CF4321001 .241
Jack Wilson, SS5011001 .265
Sean Casey, 1B4013002 .289
Jason Bay, LF5010013 .283
Jose Castillo, 2B4010002 .279
Mike Edwards, 3B4100001 .133
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
Jose Hernandez, RF-3B4031010 .236
Ronny Paulino, C4110013 .303
Kip Wells, P1000011 .333
    Jonah Bayliss, P0000000 .000
   a- Nate McLouth, PH1110000 .224
    Matt Capps, P0000000 .000
   b- Craig Wilson, PH1000011 .276
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
    Damaso Marte, P0000000 .000
    Roberto Hernandez, P0000000 .000
    Jeromy Burnitz, RF1000000 .228
a-singled for Bayliss in the 5th
b-struck out for Capps in the 6th
2B - Jose Hernandez (1, Rogers), Ronny Paulino (11, Rogers)
3B - Jose Bautista (2, Rogers), Jose Hernandez (1, Zumaya)
HR - Jose Bautista (10, Rogers)
SF - Sean Casey (1)
RBI - Jose Bautista (23), Jack Wilson (24), Sean Casey 3 (18), Jose Hernandez (8)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Hernandez (4)
Team LOB - 7
Pittsburgh Pirates
Kip Wells (L,0-3) 2.1677022 15.19
Jonah Bayliss 2.2100430 0.00
Matt Capps 1000000 3.70
Salomon Torres 1000100 4.58
Damaso Marte 0.2000110 3.38
Roberto Hernandez 0.1000000 2.50
Mike Gonzalez 1000000 2.76
IBB - Inge by Jonah Bayliss
HBP - Polanco (by Kip Wells)
WP - Kip Wells (2), Jonah Bayliss 2 (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Kip Wells 64-44, Jonah Bayliss 54-24, Matt Capps 10-7, Salomon Torres 13-7, Damaso Marte 13-7, Roberto Hernandez 2-2, Mike Gonzalez 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kip Wells 2-3, Salomon Torres 2-1, Mike Gonzalez 2-1
Batters Faced - Kip Wells 14, Jonah Bayliss 13, Matt Capps 3, Salomon Torres 4, Damaso Marte 3, Roberto Hernandez 1, Mike Gonzalez 3
Game Information
Attendance - 27318
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Larry Vanover, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Charlie Reliford