PITTSBURGH, Penn. – The Detroit Tigers (7-1) avenged their first loss of the season Tuesday with a 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates (3-5) at PNC Park. Shane Greene pitched eight innings without allowing an earned run for the second straight start to improve to 2-0.
Greene and A.J. Burnett went punch for punch on the mound through six innings. Greene allowed just three singles on 62 pitches with two strikeouts and Burnett allowed six hits with seven strikeouts.
But a pair of walks sparked a mini rally for the Tigers in the top of the 7th, as Alex Avila and Jose Iglesias earned the first free passes of the game. Rajai Davis cashed in on the opportunity with a two-out single that just skipped by Neil Walker up the middle. Avila beat the throw to the plate easily for the game's first run.
Greene continued to dominate the Pirates through eight innings, allowing just three hits on 82 pitches.
In the top of the ninth, after Iglesias turned a broken-bat blooper into a hustle double, Brad Ausmus pinch hit for Greene with one out. Victor Martinez got the at-bat and struck out for the second night in a row.
Martinez looked uncomfortable in the pinch-hitting role.
Arquimedes Caminero pitched two solid innings in relief for the Pirates, allowing just one hit and one walk. He got up to 101 MPH with his fastball.
Rob Scahill relieved Caminero with two outs in the 9th, issued a walk to Davis and an RBI single to Ian Kinsler. He struck out Miguel Cabrera looking to end the inning. The run was charged to Caminero.
Joakim Soria came out of the bullpen for the bottom of the 9th and slammed the door, inducing two ground balls back to the mound and a flyout to right field. Soria now has three saves as the fill-in closer since Joe Nathan's flexor strain.
Greene totaled 16 innings and no earned runs in his first two starts with Detroit. On Wednesday, the Tigers will play for their first series win in PNC Park since 2006.
Alfredo Simon will start the finale for Detroit against Francisco Liriano.