The Detroit Tigers are one of the game’s best offenses, but that seemed to matter little to the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching staff this week. In four games, the Tigers scored just nine runs and two of those games were extra innings shutouts.
On Thursday, Jeff Locke took the hill. Although he didn’t have his greatest stuff, he allowed seven hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings, he managed to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard and that is the most important thing. Five other pitchers followed him and they also kept the Tigers in check until Russell Martin drove in the winning run in the 11th inning.
Martin has played a big role in the success of the pitching staff this season. He was brought in to be a veteran presence for some of these young pitchers and the move has paid off. He has also been pretty solid with the bat as well with a batting average of .262, 50 points higher than it was last season with the New York Yankees.
The Pirates will now host the Cincinnati Reds for a three game set this weekend. Second place Pittsburgh leads Cincinnati by a single game in the National League Central. On Friday, the Pirates have Wandy Rodriguez starting and he will be facing Johnny Cueto. Rodriguez struggled a bit in his last start going just five innings and allowing three earned runs against the Milwaukee Brewers. He has a record of 6-2 and an earned run average of 3.58.