Big 7th lifts Bucs
PITTSBURGH — Ke’Bryan Hayes and Yoshi Tsutsugo each hit a two-run single during Pittsburgh’s four-run seventh inning, and the Pirates beat the Detroit Tigers 6-3 on Monday to stop their six-game losing streak.
Hayes finished with three hits, and Tsutsugo, Jacob Stallings and Cole Tucker each had two. Pittsburgh was coming off an 0-6 road trip to Chicago that included two losses to the White Sox and four to the Cubs.
Hayes’ hit put the Pirates ahead to stay, and Tsutsugo’s single capped the scoring.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton moved Hayes up a spot to leadoff in the batting order for Sunday’s loss to the Cubs. A day later, the rookie third baseman responded with his first mutlihit game since Aug. 14.
“The thought was to get him a little more at-bats and get him going a little bit,” Shelton said. “There was nothing scientific behind it. I just thought it would be a good idea.”
Hayes hit at the top of the order during part of the 2019 season with Triple-A Indianapolis.
“Other than being the first one to hit for the team in the beginning of the game, it’s really not anything different,” Hayes said. “Once the game gets going, it’s just like hitting second, third, whatever.
“It just always feels good to get a win. We had a tough series in Chicago, but we play hard every single day whether we’re on a three-game winning streak or a five-game losing streak. We’re a young team and we start each day with a fresh slate.”
Kevin Newman hit a two-run homer in the first for Pittsburgh. He batted right behind Hayes in the order.
“He was awesome today,” Newman said of Hayes. “He was coming up with huge hits, RBIs, timely hitting to put us ahead and that’s the name of the game.”
Chasen Shreve (3-1) pitched a scoreless seventh for the win. David Bednar struck out the side in the ninth for his third save. He has a sparkling 0.86 ERA in 29 games since June 18.
The Tigers got two hits from Robbie Grossman. Kyle Funkhouser (6-3) gave up all four runs in the seventh to take the loss.
Pirates starter Bryse Wilson had retired 11 straight batters before the Tigers rallied for three runs in the sixth. Niko Goodrum hit a tying two-run double down the right-field line, and Miguel Cabrera followed with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly for his 1,792nd career RBI.
Wilson allowed six hits and walked two in six innings. He is winless in six starts since being acquired in a trade with Atlanta on July 30.
Tigers rookie Tarik Skubal gave up two runs in three innings on Newman’s fifth homer of the season, which just cleared the fence in left-center field. Skubal’s short start was by design as Detroit looks to limit its young pitchers’ innings in the latter part of the season.
“I’m not going to say what we didn’t do. They beat us and won the big moments of the game,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said. “This game was winnable on both sides, and they did more than we did.”
The Tigers optioned rookie right-hander Drew Carlton to Triple-A Toledo after he pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Skubal.
The Pirates recalled right-hander Cody Ponce from Indianapolis and optioned infielder/outfielder Phillip Evans to the same club. They also claimed righty Connor Overton off waivers from Toronto and optioned him to Indianapolis.