The Detroit Tigers responded from their first loss of the season with yet another dominating pitching performance.
Following their third shutout victory of the year, the Tigers will look for a similar showing from Alfredo Simon on Wednesday night in the finale of a three-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Detroit (7-1) received a dazzling performance from Shane Greene in a 2-0 victory Tuesday one night after a 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh (3-5). Greene pitched three-hit ball over eight innings to give the Tigers their seventh win, tying them with Kansas City for most in the majors.
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Rajai Davis singled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning and Ian Kinsler added an RBI single in the eighth for Detroit, which is batting .328 and averaging 6.6 runs per game this season.
Jose Iglesias scored Detroit’s ninth-inning insurance run as part of another solid performance. He went 2 for 3 to raise his batting average to .480, and stole his third base of the year.
"He enjoys the game a lot," manager Brad Ausmus told the Tigers’ official website. "I think you can see that he enjoys the game in his style of play, both defensively and on the bases. He has a lot of fun with the players in batting practice. He enjoys being out in the field. He likes to entertain. That’s part of Jose Iglesias’ schtick."
Green’s performance lowered the ERA for Detroit’s starters to 1.84, a trend Simon aims to continue Wednesday.
Simon has plenty of experience facing the Pirates from his days with Cincinnati. He matched up with Pittsburgh 18 times from 2012 to 2014, but has been the starting pitcher in only the last four, posting a 2-1 record and 4.32 ERA in those meetings.
He began his tenure in Detroit with a win, limiting Cleveland to three runs over 5 1-3 innings in Friday’s 8-4 victory.
The Pirates counter with Francisco Liriano. The veteran left-hander, who owns a 3.20 ERA in his last two seasons following a 5.34 ERA in 2012, allowed two runs, two hits and three walks over seven innings on April 6 against Cincinnati before leaving without a decision.
He missed his second scheduled start Sunday when he was placed on the paternity list for the birth of his daughter.
Victor Martinez is 13 for 28 (.464) with a homer and six doubles against Liriano, but he’s been relegated to pinch-hitting duties in this series – striking out in both of his at-bats – with Detroit unable to use a designated hitter.
Starling Marte figures to be back in the lineup following a night off Tuesday. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle sat the young outfielder due to a miserable slump to start the season, in which Marte has gone 3 for 26 with two extra-base hits and 14 strikeouts.
"He’s just being challenged right now," Hurdle told the Pirates’ official website. "We’ve seen Starling get in some funks. He’s been able to work his way out of them. One of the ways you help him is just to sit him down, give him a chance to catch his breath."
Andrew McCutchen is hitting only .185 (5 for 27) this season, but leads Pittsburgh with seven RBIs.