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Pirates defeat Tigers 3-2 in doubleheader opener

Detroit Tigers pitcher Tarik Skubal throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the sixth inning during the first game of a doubleheader baseball game in Detroit, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) — Tyler Anderson and the Pittsburgh Pirates are closing in on .500.

Anderson pitched five solid innings, and the Pirates took the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday, 3-2 over the Detroit Tigers. Pittsburgh has won five of its last seven and is 8-9 on the season after starting 1-6.

The Pirates and Tigers were playing a doubleheader because Tuesday night’s game was postponed on a snowy day in the Detroit area. There was still a white dusting on top of the bushes beyond the wall in center field Wednesday, plus some flurries late in the game. The temperature at game time was 40 degrees, but Anderson didn’t seem too preoccupied with that.

“The dugouts are fine,” he said. “Not too bad in the dugouts.”

Pittsburgh scored all its runs in the fourth inning after Michael Fulmer (1-1) retired the Pirates in order through the first three.

Anderson (2-2) allowed two runs and three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Kyle Crick worked a perfect sixth, and Richard Rodr”guez retired the Tigers in order in the seventh and final inning for his second save.

Victor Reyes doubled in the third and scored on Robbie Grossman’s sacrifice fly.

The Pirates answered immediately. Adam Frazier, Phillip Evans and Bryan Reynolds started the fourth with consecutive singles, the last one driving in Frazier. Evans scored on Colin Moran’s groundout, and Erik Gonz·lez added an RBI single one out later.

“I think we found a couple holes,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “We did a nice job. We gave up a a run, we came right back. … I thought our at-bats got better as the game went on.”

Jonathan Schoop hit an RBI single for Detroit with two outs in the bottom of the inning.

Fulmer allowed three runs and four hits in four innings.

“I thought today went well,” Fulmer said. “It’s just one of those games, one of those innings really. Everything else was pretty good.”

Debut

Detroit recalled INF Zack Short from the alternate training site, and he made his big league debut, drawing two walks.

“I tried to make the game as normal as possible,” Short said. “Just a little bit colder than normal.”

Short also made a nice play at third base on Moran’s grounder in the fourth, although that wasn’t enough to prevent Pittsburgh’s big inning.

Other transactions

The Tigers designated INF Renato Nunez for assignment before the doubleheader opener. In between games, they optioned RHP Joe Jimenez to the alternate training site and reinstated RHP Spencer Turnbull from the injured list. They also named OF Derek Hill as the 27th man for the second game.

Before the first game, Pittsburgh claimed OF Ka’ai Tom off waivers from Oakland, recalled INF Rodolfo Castro from the alternate site and designated OF Anthony Alford for assignment.

Trainer’s room

Pirates 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes (left wrist inflammation) was expected to play for Pittsburgh’s alternate site team Wednesday night. Hayes is eligible to come off the 10-day injured list, but the team is remaining vague on a possible return.

Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said DH Miguel Cabrera (left biceps strain) will hopefully be back this weekend, but OF Nomar Mazara (left abdominal strain) will not return during this homestand.

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