With Chad Kuhl looking to follow up the gem by Trevor Williams, with another gem of his own, he was off to a spectacular start after a strong first inning of work. With two strikeouts in the first, Kuhl appeared to be well on his way to putting together another gem of an outing. With 22 pitches thrown in a scoreless second inning, Chad Kuhl probably took himself out of the running for a seven inning outing. Kuhl’s second time through the order, he struck out Justin Upton and Miguel Cabrera back to back in a 1-2-3 fourth inning. With 74 pitches after five innings, Kuhl appeared to have gotten his pitch count under control enough to have a chance at seven innings. The sixth inning was where Chad got into trouble. Back to back lead off singles by Jeimer Candelario and Ian Kinsler, set the stage for Jim Adduci to poke an opposite field double down the line to get the Tigers on the board. This put runners at second and third for Upton, who hit a jam-shot liner to first base for the out. A wild pitch on a 2-1 count to Miguel Cabrera, allowed a run to score, and Cabrera drove in the third Tigers run with a sacrifice fly. Kuhl completed six innings with three earned runs allowed on five hits, one walk with six strikeouts to earn the victory.
In game two of this home and home series, the Pirates waited until the bottom of the third inning to score their first run of the ball game. A two out RBI single to right field, off the bat of Starling Marte, got the Pirates offense off and running in this game. In the fourth inning, Andrew McCutchen led off the inning by lining his 23rd home run of the season to right center field. The Pirates would follow that up with two singles and a walk to load the bases for Kuhl with two outs. Kuhl swung at a first pitch slider up and in, then proceeded to line the next pitch to left-center field for a two-run single that would plate would be eventually be the winning run in the ball game. An RBI single by David Freese, and a sacrifice fly by Jordy Mercer in the fifth inning, would conclude the Pirates scoring for the night and give them a six to nothing lead at the time. This was all the Pirates would need, as A.J. Schugel, George Kontos and Felipe Rivero would combine to retire the next nine Tigers batters in order.
The win improved the Pirates to 56-57 on the season, while the loss dropped the Tigers to 51-61. This game concluded the Pirates recent home stand, where they posted a record of 5-3 to get back into the hunt in the National League Central. They head out on the road tomorrow night when Ivan Nova takes the mound to face Justin Verlander and the Tigers in Detroit. Tune in at 7:10 eastern time to see if the Pirates can start strong on the road trip as they make the push to finish with at least a .500 record on the road this season.