DETROIT (AP) — Bryan Reynolds doubled in Pittsburgh’s two-run seventh inning, and the Pirates beat the Detroit Tigers 7-2 to split Wednesday’s doubleheader.
The Tigers won the first game 3-2 with the help of two key errors by the Pirates.
After pitching 4 2/3 scoreless innings in the first game, the Tigers’ bullpen struggled in the nightcap. With the game tied at 2, Tigers reliever Drew Hutchinson (0-2) walked Ben Gemel to start the seventh and Reynolds hit a bloop double to left.
Will Vest replaced Hutchinson and his wild pitch allowed Gemel to score the go-ahead run. He then hit Ke’Bryan Hayes and allowed a sacrifice fly to Daniel Vogelbach.
Gemel added an RBI single in the ninth — his fifth hit of the doubleheader — and Vogelbach made it 7-2 with a two-run homer.
Detroit lost for the eighth time in 10 games, while Pittsburgh won its second in eight games.
Zach Thompson (1-3) got the win with a scoreless inning of relief. David Bednar pitched the final two innings for his third save.
Tigers starter Alex Faedo, making his major-league debut, allowed two runs on eight hits in five innings.
In the first game, the Tigers had three hits and three unearned runs. Alex Lange (1-1) got two outs for the win, and Gregory Soto worked the ninth for his fourth save.
Detroit’s bullpen started the day with a major league-best 1.97 ERA.
Dillon Peters pitched 3 1/3 innings for Pittsburgh, stretching his season-long scoreless streak to 16 2/3 innings. Bryse Wilson (0-1) struck out six in 3 2/3 innings, but was charged with the loss.
Pittsburgh took a 2-0 lead in the fifth on Gamel’s two-run triple off Lange.
Detroit responded in the bottom half. Jeimer Candelario led off with a double and Castro reached on an error by shortstop Cole Tucker.
Akil Baddoo’s one-out walk loaded the bases. Grossman knocked in the Tigers’ first run with a sacrifice fly. Hayes then booted Javier Báez’s bouncer, allowed two more runs to score.
Báez turned in some nifty defense at shortstop, including a memorable play in the first game.
He was positioned to the right of second base in a shift against Bryan Reynolds. Báez dove to his right to stop Reynolds’ grounder, and then flipped the ball with his glove between his legs to Candelario for a forceout at second.
“I was almost jumping around on the mound. It’s exciting to see Javy make a play like that,” Tigers pitcher Michael Pineda said. “I love to see Javy play the game because the way he plays, everybody loves it. He plays really hard and we’re excited to have him here.”
IN AND OUT
Because of Tuesday’s rainout, the Tigers ended up with two days off before a one-day, two-game homestand.
Tigers: LHP Tyler Alexander had an MRI that confirmed an elbow sprain and no structural damage. He’s on the 15-day injured list.
The Pirates activated left-hander Anthony Banda from the 10-day injured list and optioned lefty Aaron Fletcher to Triple-A Indianapolis. ... Fletcher, however, was the 27th man for the second game of the doubleheader, while Detroit added right-hander Alex Faedo. ... Tigers catcher Dustin Garneau, who was designated for assignment, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Toledo.
Pirates: Pittsburgh is off Thursday before starting a four-game series in Cincinnati that includes a Saturday doubleheader. JT Brubaker (0-2, 6.20) is scheduled to start on Friday; the Reds haven’t announced a starter.
Tigers: Detroit starts a four-game series in Houston on Thursday. Tarik Skubal (1-2, 3.05) is scheduled to start the opener against Jose Urquidy (2-1, 5.95) of the Astros.