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Volquez, Pirates beat Tigers
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Edinson Volquez pitched six strong innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates continued their home domination of the Detroit Tigers with a 4-2 victory Tuesday night.
Travis Snider had a pair of hits and an RBI for Pittsburgh, which has won five of its last seven games and continues to put pressure on NL Central-leading Milwaukee. The Bucs are 1 1/2 games behind the Brewers.
"When you take the field, it's special and you're playing for something," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "The fans know we're playing for something and that's why they're showing up. They're into it, they're vocal and it's just so vibrant and so fun to see."
Volquez (10-7) yielded five hits and a pair of runs, and had five strikeouts. The right-hander is 6-1 over his last nine starts.
Pittsburgh has beaten Detroit 10 of the last 12 times they have played at PNC Park. This was the second of four straight meetings between the clubs. Detroit hosts contests Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon.
Robbie Ray (1-2) surrendered six hits and four runs over five-plus frames for Detroit, which got a solo homer from Alex Avila.
The fourth straight loss for the Tigers assured them of remaining in second place in the AL Central for another day. They lost their lead in the division Monday night when they were passed by the Kansas City Royals. Detroit remained a half-game back.
"We haven't hit as a whole on this road trip," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "As a team, we haven't scored runs. We've gotten hits at times, but we haven't scored runs. We have to find a way to drive runners in."
Ian Kinsler singled to center to drive in Ezequiel Carrera in the top of the first, but if not for the quick glove work of Volquez the Pirates would have faced a deeper deficit.
Miguel Cabrera singled to put men at the corners, and then Victor Martinez hit a bouncer back that was destined for center field but Volquez stuck his glove out to make a backhand stop and alertly threw home. Kinsler was hung up between bases and tagged out trying to get back to third. J.D. Martinez flied out to right to end the inning.
Gaby Sanchez and Snider hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the second. Russell Martin, who scored on Sanchez's double, extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his 999th career hit, a double to start the inning.
Josh Harrison doubled to begin the home third, stole a base and then came home on Jordy Mercer's base hit to center for a 3-1 cushion.
Avila homered to center in the fourth, but the Pirates manufactured a run in the sixth. Starling Marte walked to begin the frame. Al Alburquerque entered from the bullpen and Marte stole second, and then scored when pinch-hitter Ike Davis hit a double to the gap in right-center field.
After Ray secured his first major league hit, a ball that deflected off Volquez in the fourth inning, Detroit didn't get another hit until Avila singled to right off Mark Melancon with one out in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Nick Castellanos then singled to left-center. Torii Hunter flied out to right field and Rajai Davis bounced out to end the game to give Melancon his 22nd save.
The Tigers got a reprieve before the game when they learned right-hander Justin Verlander could miss one start but is not expected to land on the disabled list. An MRI on his pitching shoulder showed inflammation, but no major damage ... The Pirates recalled Brandon Cumpton from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned fellow right-hander Casey Sadler to the Triple-A club ... The Tigers signed free agent RHP Shawn Hill to a minor-league contract ... The Pirates equaled their high-water mark for the season at nine games over .500 (64-55).
08/13 01:26:13 ET