Tigers erupt against Pirates closer Bednar to rally for victory

Tigers Pirates Baseball
Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 09, 2024

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Gio Urshela, Kerry Carpenter and Jake Rogers delivered RBI singles in the ninth inning as the Detroit Tigers rallied past the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 on Tuesday.

Detroit won for just the second time in six games by getting to Pirates closer David Bednar (1-1), who blew his third save opportunity in four tries.

Pittsburgh led 3-1 heading to the ninth before the Tigers broke loose against Bednar, a two-time All-Star who missed most of spring training with a lat injury.

Bednar walked Greene leading off the inning, then hit Spencer Torkelson. Urshela singled and both runners scored when Michael A. Taylor’s wayward throw from center to third base skipped into the netting near the Pittsburgh dugout.

“I mean, what we’ve seen over the past couple of years is he had elite command,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “Over the last three or four outings, that just hasn’t been there. I mean, even with the curveball, hitting Torkelson. Just, we have to clean up the command issue.”

Carpenter and Rogers followed with run-scoring singles to give Detroit a split of the short two-game interleague set.

“You know in some ways how we’ve gotten beat the last few games by them building innings with a walk or hit by pitch or base hit at the right time,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. "And we did all of that in the same inning against a quality reliever.”

Urshela and Matt Vierling had two hits apiece for Detroit. Shelby Miller (3-0) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Jason Foley worked the ninth for his third save. Casey Mize allowed two runs in five innings and his velocity reached 98 mph as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery.

“It’s a great sign to know that my body is in really good position to be able to do that," Mize said.

Edward Olivares homered twice for the Pirates. Ke’Bryan Hayes had two hits and drove in a run for Pittsburgh.

Olivares, acquired from Kansas City in December, took Mize's first pitch of the second and sent it into the left-field bleachers to tie the game. His second solo shot leading off the sixth against Tyler Holton landed almost in the same spot to give the outfielder the third multi-homer game of his five-year big league career.

Pérez used a terrific double-play turn keyed by a diving Hayes to get out of a bumpy first inning and settled down. The 33-year-old left-hander, signed to an $8 million, one-year deal in January, retired 22 of his final 25 batters. Pérez struck out seven without a walk.

The Pirates opted to go to Bednar in the ninth with Pérez at 100 pitches. While Pérez said he would have been fine taking the ball one more time, he understands the thought process in bringing in Bednar.

Detroit played stellar defense to stay in a position to come back, including a leaping catch at the left-field wall by Greene at the end of the fifth that robbed Hayes of extra bases and prevented the Pirates from adding an insurance run.

“(Greene) said he didn’t know where the wall was and I was like, ‘Well you found out as soon as you jumped,'” Hinch said. "Sometimes your aggressiveness on defense pays off. He’s fearless.”

Olivares did provide Pittsburgh with a two-run lead when he took Holton deep. It wasn't enough, however, for the Pirates (9-3) to match their best 12-game start since 1992.


Pirates: C Yasmani Grandal (left foot plantar fasciitis) will begin a baserunning program soon. Grandal has been able to take at-bats against a pitching simulator. ... C Jason Delay (knee) remains shut down from all baseball activities. ... 2B Ji-Hwan Bae (left hip) had his rehab transferred to Triple-A Indianapolis.


Tigers: Are off Wednesday before beginning an eight-game homestand on Thursday when Minnesota comes to town for a four-game set. Tarik Skubal (1-0, 2.92 ERA) gets the ball in the opener for Detroit.

Pirates: Begin a seven-game trip Thursday in Philadelphia when rookie Jared Jones (1-1, 3.86) makes his third major-league start.