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Pittsburgh at Detroit

W: B. Hardy (2-1) L: V. Worley (5-2)
HR: PIT - T. Snider (10)   DET - A. Avila (10),N. Castellanos (9)

Tigers rally past Pirates 8-4

AP Baseball Writer

DETROIT (AP) Victor Martinez drove in three runs to help Detroit to a much-needed win, then offered a bit of a plea to Tigers fans who have been losing patience with the AL Central favorites.

''It's not fair when people out there are thinking that we've got to win this division by 10, 15, 20 games,'' Martinez said. ''We're not playing Little League teams. We're trying. It's too long of a season. At some point you're going to struggle. Every team struggles at some point.

''As a fan, if you're going to be with us when we're doing good, we really need the fans when we're struggling too.''

Martinez had three hits, and Nick Castellanos homered and tripled to lead the Tigers to an 8-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.

Detroit rallied from a 4-1 deficit and snapped a four-game losing streak, but the Tigers remained a half-game behind first-place Kansas City.

The Tigers are suddenly facing adversity amid mounting injuries. They had to send Buck Farmer to the mound to make his major league debut, and he allowed four runs in five innings.

Blaine Hardy (2-1) followed with two scoreless innings of relief, lowering his ERA to 2.05. He's been a rare bright spot in a bullpen that's been unreliable.

''He's done an excellent job, really,'' manager Brad Ausmus said. ''He's not strictly a lefty-lefty guy. He's got the ability to get right-handed hitters out, which gives me a lot of flexibility in the middle innings.''

Castellanos put Detroit ahead 5-4 with a solo homer off Vance Worley (5-2) in the sixth. Martinez added a bases-loaded single in the seventh.

The Tigers returned home after going 2-7 on a road trip against the New York Yankees, Toronto and Pittsburgh. A 19-inning loss to the Blue Jays stretched the pitching staff thin, and Anibal Sanchez and Justin Verlander are nursing injuries.

The game was tied at 1 in the fourth when Pittsburgh's Jordy Mercer hit an RBI triple and Travis Snider followed with a two-run homer. The Tigers tied it with three runs in the fifth.

Alex Avila led off with a homer to make it 4-2, and after a single by Eugenio Suarez, Ezequiel Carrera hit a grounder to second. Jayson Nix tried to make a tough throw to second to get the lead runner, but his throw was poor, and the error helped Detroit to a big inning. Miguel Cabrera eventually hit a sacrifice fly, and Martinez tied it with a two-out RBI single.

Castellanos hit his ninth homer of the year with one out in the sixth.

''I think the pitches that hurt were the home runs,'' Worley said. ''Couple of guys who I got behind - had to throw good pitches.''

Worley allowed five runs - three earned - and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings.

TOUGH SPOT: Farmer has spent most of this season at Class A West Michigan, and he was called up from Double-A Erie to make this start for the Tigers. He made it through the order the first time without allowing a hit, but the Pirates scored a run in the third and three in the fourth.

He allowed six hits and a walk and struck out four, and the Tigers were able to rally after he left the game.

OUTFIELD PROBLEMS: Pittsburgh center fielder Starling Marte made a diving attempt on Castellanos' hit in the second, and the ball got past him for a triple. Right fielder Gregory Polanco couldn't handle Torii Hunter's double in the fourth, and Polanco's long run to right-center in the seventh was for naught when he was unable to make the catch on Carrera's drive, which went for a triple.

FOR THE BIRDS: Worley and Cabrera both seemed distracted by two birds that settled in between the mound and the plate while Cabrera was batting in the first. Cabrera stepped out and waved his bat at them, then Worley rolled a ball to the plate, trying to shoo them away.


Pirates: Pittsburgh was once again without 2B Neil Walker, who has been limited to only three games this month. Walker has been bothered by a bad back.

Tigers: Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler stayed in the game and seemed to be OK after a pitch by Stolmy Pimentel bounced weirdly and hit him in the side of the head. Pimentel's pitch in the seventh inning was in the dirt, then bounced up off C Russell Martin and hit Kinsler.


Pirates: Francisco Liriano (3-8) takes the mound for Pittsburgh on Thursday against Detroit. He's posted a 2.25 ERA in five starts since returning from a left oblique strain.

Tigers: Max Scherzer (13-4) pitches for the first time since striking out 11 in eight innings against Toronto on Saturday - in a game Detroit went on to lose in 10.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

V. Martinez
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0

T. Snider
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Josh Harrison, 3B5110001.316.355.509
Gregory Polanco, RF4000001.265.333.381
Russell Martin, C4011010.288.409.404
Ike Davis, 1B2010211.239.352.377
Starling Marte, CF3000012.261.338.394
Pedro Alvarez, DH4110033.231.316.394
Jordy Mercer, SS2111202.265.314.386
Travis Snider, LF3112113.257.330.433
Jayson Nix, 2B4000002.149.197.194
Vance Worley, P0000000.048.048.048
   Jared Hughes, P0000000.000.000.000
   Stolmy Pimentel, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jeanmar Gomez, P00000001.0001.0001.000
2B - Josh Harrison (25, Farmer), Russell Martin (12, Farmer)
3B - Jordy Mercer (2, Farmer)
HR - Travis Snider (10, Farmer)
RBI - Russell Martin (47), Jordy Mercer (41), Travis Snider 2 (32)
2-OUT RBI - Russell Martin (20)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Nix-Mercer-Davis, Nix-Mercer-Davis-Harrison-Nix-Davis, Nix-Mercer-Davis-Harrison-Nix-Davis-Mercer-Nix-Davis
E - Jayson Nix (4, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Vance Worley (L,5-2) 5.1953142 2.51
Jared Hughes 0.2000000 1.80
Stolmy Pimentel 0233200 5.40
Jeanmar Gomez 2100000 3.54
IBB - Cabrera by Stolmy Pimentel
WP - Vance Worley (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Vance Worley 94-64, Jared Hughes 4-3, Stolmy Pimentel 14-5, Jeanmar Gomez 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vance Worley 8-4, Jared Hughes 1-0, Jeanmar Gomez 5-0
Batters Faced - Vance Worley 26, Jared Hughes 1, Stolmy Pimentel 4, Jeanmar Gomez 6
Detroit Tigers
Ezequiel Carrera, CF5210010.273.333.455
Ian Kinsler, 2B2110110.289.320.428
Miguel Cabrera, 1B2101101.307.368.507
Victor Martinez, DH4133000.323.386.551
Torii Hunter, RF4021001.276.312.456
Don Kelly, LF4010012.250.321.290
Nick Castellanos, 3B4122002.262.312.419
Alex Avila, C3111111.226.328.391
Eugenio Suarez, SS4110001.238.319.372
Buck Farmer, P0000000.000.000.000
   Blaine Hardy, P0000000.000.000.000
   Joba Chamberlain, P0000000.000.000.000
   Joe Nathan, P0000000.000.000.000
2B - Torii Hunter (22, Worley)
3B - Ezequiel Carrera (1, Pimentel), Nick Castellanos (3, Worley)
HR - Nick Castellanos (9, Worley), Alex Avila (10, Worley)
SF - Miguel Cabrera (10)
SH - Ian Kinsler (3)
RBI - Miguel Cabrera (86), Victor Martinez 3 (71), Torii Hunter (64), Nick Castellanos 2 (46), Alex Avila (34)
2-OUT RBI - Victor Martinez (22), Nick Castellanos (18)
SB - Ian Kinsler (11, 2nd base off Pimentel/Martin)
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E - Ian Kinsler (4, Dropped fly)
Detroit Tigers
Buck Farmer 5644141 7.20
Blaine Hardy (W,2-1) 2000110 2.05
Joba Chamberlain 1000120 3.19
Joe Nathan 1000200 5.11
HBP - Marte (by Buck Farmer)
Pitches-Strikes - Buck Farmer 83-57, Blaine Hardy 21-12, Joba Chamberlain 17-9, Joe Nathan 15-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Buck Farmer 5-6, Blaine Hardy 4-0, Joe Nathan 1-1
Batters Faced - Buck Farmer 23, Blaine Hardy 6, Joba Chamberlain 4, Joe Nathan 4
Game Information
Attendance - 41043
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Ted Barrett, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Adam Hamari, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez