The Pirates fought to support Trevor Williams, who had his usual good start, but they got an impeccable relay job and took their second straight game of ten Tigers innings, this 3-2.
The Pirates were helpless against Detroit's Spencer Turnbull, a decent prospect (characterized by Baseball America having the opportunity to compete for the bullpen) making his seventh start in the race. They weakened with little effect, getting only two hits and two walks in six innings. The only race came in the fourth when Tigers shortstop Ronny Rodriguez hit a Jung Ho Kang for an error that allowed Josh Bell to score from the second.
The Tigers recovered that and one more in the bottom half thanks to the savagery of Williams and the bad defensive work of left fielder Jason Martin. After a Miguel Cabrera single, Williams loaded the bases with one out with a hit hitter and a walk. A fly ball to Rodriguez's shallow left should not have scored Cabrera with slow feet, but Martin's loop shot was off the plate. Even then the play was pretty close, but the Pirates challenge was rejected correctly. Tigers wide receiver John Hicks followed with another fly to the left, but Martin started again, dropping him for a RBI single and gave Detroit a 2-1 lead.
Williams had been very efficient in the first three innings, but he threw 37 in the interminable fourth. That forced him to leave after six, with six hits, two runs, a walk, two batters and five strikeouts. Kyle Crick returned to action in the seventh inning, putting a quick inning.
The Pirates finally woke up, just a little bit, in the eighth. J.B. Shuck, batting for the desperate Erik Gonzalez, hit a single, Adam Frazier walked and Starling Mars was hit. The Tigers brought in a left-hander to face Colin Moran, who swooped. Bell did a full count and ran with a flying ball, but that was all because of that threat.
From there, the game became extras, thanks in part to a goalless eighth by Rich Rodriguez and an impressive ninth by Nick Burdi. The Pirates doubled their total of hits three batters in the tenth. Frazier doubled and took third with a single from Mars. Moran then scored a single for his second hit in the tenth in less than a week. Felipe Vázquez did what he does in the bottom half, stoking Cabrera to finish it. The Bucs have now won three games in a row and are 10-6.