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Pirates hand Tigers' Scherzer first loss of season

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Jim Leyland watched the Detroit Tigers hit three straight doubles in the fourth inning on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates and thought maybe, just maybe, his team's offensive woes were in the rearview mirror.

Wrong.

The Tigers' bats went lifeless when it mattered as Detroit dropped its fifth straight in a 6-2 loss.

"We're making it tough for our pitchers right now," Leyland said. "Everything is life and death for them because they have no cushion."

Even Max Scherzer's presence on the mound couldn't shake the Tigers out of their funk.

The right-hander entered the game tied for the American League-lead in wins and was dominant in the middle of the game. Scherzer (6-1) retired 10 consecutive batters during one stretch but lost for the first time this season after tiring in the sixth as a 2-0 lead evaporated.

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"I wish I would have executed better within the strike zone, especially with men on base," Scherzer said. "I didn't finish hitters off. I gave them a chance to execute and get some big hits and sac flies and they did."

An RBI single by Garrett Jones and sacrifice flies by Neil Walker and Lyle Overbay gave the Pirates the lead. They added three more runs in the seventh, highlighted by a two-run single by Matt Diaz.

"All I knew is if I didn't hit it back to the pitcher, I'd be OK," said Diaz, who helped the Pirates tack on an extra run later in the inning by extending a rundown long enough to allow teammate Jose Tabata to score.

The victory helped Pittsburgh match its entire 2010 win total in interleague play. The Pirates went a woeful 2-13 against National League teams last year, including an 0-3 mark against the Tigers.

Yet Hurdle has urged his team to forget about the past, and the Pirates have proven to be pluckier so far than the team that lost 105 games a year ago.

The win lifted Pittsburgh's record to 22-23, a solid if not spectacular start for team that hasn't posted a winning season since Leyland led the Pirates to the NL East title nearly 20 years ago.

Leyland fondly remembers his time in Pittsburgh. His present isn't so hot.

The Tigers appeared to be rolling after ripping off seven wins earlier this month. They've backed it up with five losses in which they've scored eight runs.

Detroit came in mired in a 2-for-31 slump with runners in scoring position, but hit three doubles in the fourth to jump in front.

"I thought maybe we would get something going," Leyland said. "We three doubles in one inning to score two runs and I thought maybe that would us out of it a little bit."

Not exactly.

Detroit put two men on in the seventh to chase starter Kevin Correia and Austin Jackson drilled a fastball from Pittsburgh reliever Jose Veras. He just hit it to straight center field, where Andrew McCutchen caught it on the warning track to end the inning.

The Tigers had one last chance in the ninth after loading the bases with no outs.

Pittsburgh closer Joel Hanrahan, however, struck out Ryan Raburn looking then got Jackson to hit into a game-ending double play to put Pittsburgh in a position to sweep an interleague series for the first time since taking three games from Cleveland in 2001.

"Max did his job," Leyland said. "We scored two runs. That's obviously been a problem for us and we didn't shut it down because the add on-run were a disaster."

It was also a boon to Correia, who finally picked up his first win as a Pirate at PNC Park. He'd struggled in three previous starts this spring at the quirky, hitter-friendly stadium, going 0-3 with a 6.50 ERA.

There were no such issues in front of a rare sellout crowd. Correia (6-4) limited Detroit to two runs over 6 2-3 innings, striking out four.

"I did some stuff better today and some stuff wasn't that great," Correia said. "I felt like I threw the ball well and I'm glad I hung in there long enough for our offense to really jump around."

McCutchen went 3 for 4 and scored twice for Pittsburgh, who has won four straight for the first time since last September.

"The guys are feeling it," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "There's a little bit of less anxiety in the dugout. Even when we were down 2-0 there was some calmness."

Notes

  • Detroit's Jackson went 0 for 5 to end his 12-game hitting streak.
  • Though his team's offense is struggling, Leyland opted to sit Detroit's Victor Martinez. The team's normal designated hitter caught just his ninth game of the season on Friday. Martinez leads the Tigers with a .313 average. He grounded out as a pinch hitter in the eighth.
  • Veras made the first plate appearance of his career in the seventh and ended up walking on four pitches and later scored on the double by Diaz.
 
Copyright 2015 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.
 
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The Pirates' Andrew McCutchen (left) helps put a hurting on the Tigers as he finishes the game with three hits and two runs.  (AP)
The Pirates' Andrew McCutchen (left) helps put a hurting on the Tigers as he finishes the game with three hits and two runs. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

A. McCutchen
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Detroit

M. Cabrera
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

Related Video

Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF5000013 .230
Ramon Santiago, 2B3010100 .293
Andy Dirks, LF4110001 .286
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4121012 .314
Brennan Boesch, RF3011011 .267
    Ryan Perry, P0000000 .000
    Daniel Schlereth, P0000000 .000
   a- Victor Martinez, PH1000001 .310
    Al Alburquerque, P0000000 .000
Jhonny Peralta, SS4010001 .289
Alex Avila, C4020011 .290
Brandon Inge, 3B4010011 .210
Max Scherzer, P2000000 .000
    Ryan Raburn, RF2010013 .209
Totals36210216  
a-grounded out for Schlereth in the 8th
Batting
2B - Andy Dirks (1, Correia), Miguel Cabrera (13, Correia), Brennan Boesch (10, Correia)
RBI - Miguel Cabrera (30), Brennan Boesch (20)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Avila-Peralta-Cabrera-Santiago
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Max Scherzer (L,6-1) 5.2733070 2.98
Ryan Perry 0.1333100 10.00
Daniel Schlereth 1100010 3.00
Al Alburquerque 1100020 3.68
Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 99-72, Ryan Perry 15-8, Daniel Schlereth 10-6, Al Alburquerque 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 5-5, Ryan Perry 1-0
Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 24, Ryan Perry 5, Daniel Schlereth 3, Al Alburquerque 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andrew McCutchen, CF4230000 .259
Jose Tabata, LF4220021 .243
Garrett Jones, RF3111000 .254
   a- Matt Diaz, PH-RF1012000 .237
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
Neil Walker, 2B3001012 .283
Lyle Overbay, 1B3001020 .230
Ryan Doumit, C4020010 .294
Brandon Wood, 3B4010011 .200
Ronny Cedeno, SS4020012 .254
Kevin Correia, P2000012 .000
    Jose Veras, P0100100 .000
   b- Xavier Paul, PH-RF1000011 .239
Totals336125110  
a-singled for G. Jones in the 7th
b-struck out for Veras in the 8th
Batting
2B - Garrett Jones (5, Scherzer)
SF - Neil Walker (2), Lyle Overbay (1)
RBI - Garrett Jones (16), Matt Diaz 2 (8), Neil Walker (30), Lyle Overbay (16)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Walker-Cedeno-Overbay
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kevin Correia (W,6-4) 6.2722040 3.84
Jose Veras (H,7) 1.1000110 2.75
Joe Beimel0200000 4.63
Joel Hanrahan (S,13) 1100010 1.66
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 96-64, Jose Veras 20-11, Joe Beimel 8-6, Joel Hanrahan 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 8-8, Jose Veras 1-2, Joel Hanrahan 1-0
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 27, Jose Veras 5, Joe Beimel 2, Joel Hanrahan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37958
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Mike Muchlinski, Third Base - Mark Wegner