For a while, it looked like the Pirates’ hitters would give away the chance to stop their six-game losing streak. In the end, though, they got the key hits they’ve so often been lacking and beat Detroit, 6-3.
The day seemingly got off to a great start for the offense. Ke’Bryan Hayes led off the bottom of the first with a single and Kevin Newman launched his fifth home run of the year, to left-center, where longballs don’t come cheaply. And then the bumbling started.
With one out in the first, the Pirates got runners to the corners, but Anthony Alford whiffed and Ben Gamel grounded out. In the fourth, they again got runners to the corners with one out. Jacob Stallings led off with a double and went to third on a one-out single by Gamel. On a botched hit-and-run, though, Gamel got thrown out at second. Cole Tucker walked but Wilson grounded out.
The very next inning, Hayes again led off with a single, but Newman bunted into a force out. That set up a double play on a grounder by Bryan Reynolds.
Bryse Wilson pitched well for five innings, but after that provided more proof that none of the Pirates’ starters can go through the lineup a third time. He got out of a first-and-third, one-out jam in the first with the help of a line out. Another line out left runners at second and third in the second. Over the next three innings, Wilson retired nine straight.
In the sixth, Wilson struggled. After yet another line out to start the inning, he gave up two runs on a walk, a single and two doubles. A third scored on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Cabrera, putting the Tigers up, 3-2.
Chasen Shreve threw a scoreless seventh and, in the bottom half, the Pirates finally halted the clown show . . . well, mostly. They loaded the bases with nobody out on a single and two walks. Hayes came through with his third single of the game, bringing in two runs and leaving runners at first and second. Incredibly, Newman tried to bunt again and popped it up. After a ground out moved the runners up, Yoshi Tsutsugo singled to score two more.
Chris Stratton and David Bednar avoided any more dramatics. Stratton threw an 11-pitch eighth and Bednar fanned the side in the ninth to pick up his third save.