Interleague Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, May 28th
(All times Eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (31-20) at Detroit Tigers (29-20), 7:08 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.75)
Detroit - Rick Porcello (2-2, 6.28)
(Sports Network) - Pittsburgh has won all five of Jeanmar Gomez's starts this
season, but that trend figures to face a huge test on Tuesday evening when the
Pirates wrap the first half of a home-and-home series with the Detroit Tigers.
The right-handed Gomez pitched out of the bullpen in April and has gone 1-0
with a 2.82 earned run average in five starts this month. Gomez has not
allowed more than three earned runs in any of those outings, but has yet to
pitch past the fifth inning either.
Gomez may have done so on Thursday versus the Chicago Cubs, but his outing
ended after 3 2/3 innings due to a 1-hour, 47-minute rain delay. He gave up
just a run on three hits without a walk and did not get a decision.
The 25-year-old is 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA in 10 total appearances this season,
but struggled versus the Tigers during his time with the Cleveland Indians to
begin his career. In five starts against them, Gomez is 2-2 with a 7.82 ERA.
Pittsburgh, which has put together its best May in 14 years, tried to keep
pace with Detroit in Monday's opener before eventually suffering a 6-5
Jhonny Peralta went 4-for-4 at the plate and drove in three runs for the
Tigers, lifting his season average to .341. That is tied for second best in
the AL behind only teammate Miguel Cabrera's .377 average.
Victor Martinez collected two hits and drove in a pair of runs, while Prince
Fielder scored three times in the Tigers' sixth victory in seven games.
Justin Verlander worked seven frames, striking out a season-high 13 batters
while yielding three runs on seven hits with two walks. Jose Valverde tossed a
scoreless ninth for his sixth save of the season.
"I'm not going to say this was a great game because I struck out 13 guys,"
Verlander said. "That's showing me that my offspeed stuff was a lot better. I
just know from me being out there that the fastball control wasn't where I
wanted it. I expect the bar I set for myself to be high."
Travis Snider finished with three hits, an RBI and scored once for the
Pirates, who lost for only second time in their last eight. Their 16-8 record
this month marks the first time the franchise has won more than 15 games in
May since going 17-12 in 1999.
Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez each drove in a run, while
Francisco Liriano yielded four runs and eight hits over five innings to suffer
his first loss of the season.
Pittsburgh twice rallied to pull within a run in the game, scoring twice in
the eighth frame to make it a 6-5 game. Following a run-scoring double by
Sanchez, Josh Harrison came on to pinch-run, but was picked off of second base
by Joaquin Benoit.
"I'm taking a couple extra steps, maybe I go," said Harrison about the play
after his teammates stole three bases earlier in the game. "But then Benoit
did something different that he didn't do the previous five pitches."
Taking the hill for the Tigers will be right-hander Rick Porcello, who has
dominated the Pirates in two previous meetings. He won both, giving up just
one run over 15 total innings.
Porcello has won both of his decisions over five starts since recording just
two outs and yielding nine runs in a loss at the L.A. Angels of Anaheim on
April 20. He did struggle a bit in a no-decision versus Minnesota last time
out, giving up five runs on 10 hits and a walk in five innings.
In nine games this season, including eight starts, the 24-year-old is 2-2 with
a 6.28 ERA.
The Tigers and Pirates split six meetings a season ago, with each team winning
two of three at home. They'll play two straight in Pittsburgh starting on
05/28 10:25:28 ET