Pirates Bash Verlander With Seven Runs Through 4 1/3 Inn
The Pittsburgh Pirates are playing winning baseball in their first week of the season, and they only trail the first place Chicago Cubs (6-1), who are off to a hot start as well, by a game.
On Monday, the Bucs showed how explosive their offense can be as they faced off against the Detroit Tigers and Justin Verlander and greeted him with seven runs on ten hits in just 4.1 innings.
Verlander, who was looking to rebound from his 5-8 2015 campaign (his first losing season since 2008), wasn’t able to contain the Pirates as they quickly took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single from Matt Joyce, scoring John Jaso, who led off the game with a double.
In the second, the Pirates added two more runs on a single off the bat of Jordy Mercer to take a 3-1 lead.
The Tigers pulled within a run in the bottom half of the inning after Nick Castellanos hit his first homer of the season off ex-Met Jonathan Niese.
Pittsburgh added to their lead with a run in the third and fourth on a sac fly’s in each inning and two in the fifth on RBI hits from Gregory Polanco and Sean Rodriguez to extend the lead to 7-1.
Detroit tried to make a comeback with one in the fifth and two in the six off Niese highlighted by the first home run of the season for J.D. Martinez.
Niese got out of the jam and handed the lead over to his bullpen and three pitchers shut down Detroit to secure the lefty’s first win with his new club.
The Pirates improve to 5-2, while the Tigers drop to 3-2.
John Jaso – 2 for 4, Double, RBI
Matt Joyce – 2 for 4, Double, RBI
Francisco Cervelli – 3 for 4, RBI
Gregory Polanco – 3 for 5, 2 Doubles, RBI
J.D. Martinez – 2 for 4, HR, RBI
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