MLB: Tigers, Pirates prepare to squeeze two-game series into twin bill
This week’s series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers has been reduced to one busy day.
Steady rain forced the postponement of Tuesday’s night game. Both games of the series in Detroit will be played on Wednesday as a straight doubleheader.
A lack of timely hits and some sloppy fielding have cost the Tigers over the past week, as they have lost seven of their last eight games.
Detroit snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday. The Tigers then left nine runners on base and committed two costly errors in a 6-3 loss on Sunday.
“We didn’t play well enough to win,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “Our reality is we make a critical mistake or two every game, and it’s costing us right now.”
The Tigers scored 13 runs in the first game of a doubleheader against Colorado on April 23. In the eight games since, they have pushed across just 18 runs.
Jeimer Candelario and Miguel Cabrera hit their first home runs of the season on Sunday, but Candelario also committed a costly throwing error from third base, which helped the Dodgers score three second-inning runs.
“We’ve got to take care of the ball,” Candelario said. “We’ve got to play good defense, then everything will go from there. We’re going to hit. We know we’re going to hit. But we’ve got to take care of the ball, like A.J. says.”
Michael Pineda (1-1, 3.60 ERA) will start the first game for Detroit. Pineda pitched five scoreless innings in his season debut, then allowed four runs, including three homers, in five innings to Minnesota on Wednesday. He’s 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two career starts against the Pirates.
Alex Faedo will be recalled from Triple-A Toledo to make his major league debut in the second game. Faedo missed all of last season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. The 26-year-old right-hander tossed five scoreless innings in his last start, striking out eight, against Omaha on Wednesday.
The Pirates are expected to start reliever Dillon Peters (3-0, 0.00) and Jose Quintana (0-1, 3.32). Peters could turn out to be an opener for Bryse Wilson (0-0, 4.70), who was Tuesday’s originally scheduled starter.
Wilson held Milwaukee to one hit in four scoreless innings while striking out four in a long relief stint on Wednesday.
“I think it’s a situation for me that (Wednesday), coming out of the bullpen, I wasn’t able to think about stuff as much and think about my game plan going in as much, other than the fact that I wanted to attack,” Wilson said. “For me, going forward as a starter, if that’s what it’s going to be, I can take that mindset into that as well.”
In his lone career start against Detroit, he had a no-decision, giving up three runs in six innings.
Quintana struck out nine and held Milwaukee to one run in five innings on Thursday. The veteran left-hander is 6-5 with a 4.73 ERA in 21 career appearances (20 starts) against Detroit.
Pittsburgh is also trying to shake loose from a rough patch. It has lost five of its last six games, including a 5-2 decision to San Diego on Sunday. The Tigers series kicks off a six-game road trip.
The Pirates also have had their share of fielding miscues. They have committed 17 errors in 22 games, including three on Sunday.
–Field Level Media