Walker homers twice as Pirates pound Tigers 9-3

July 1, 2015

DETROIT (AP) Neil Walker homered twice, including a two-run shot in a five-run third, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Detroit Tigers 9-3 on Wednesday night.

Walker also drove in the winning run in Tuesday night's 14-inning win - a game that ended early Wednesday morning.

The Pirates finished with 21 hits, their most since May 13, 2004 in Colorado.

A.J. Burnett (7-3) got the easy win, giving up two runs on seven hits in seven innings. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter.

Alfredo Simon (7-5) took the loss, allowing six runs on a career-high 15 hits in 5 2-3 innings. The 15 hits were the most allowed by a Tigers starter since Scott Sanders allowed 16 on April 14, 1998.

Detroit took the lead on Nick Castellanos' RBI single in the second, but the Pirates took over from there.

After Tuesday's 14-inning loss, the Tigers badly needed a long outing from Simon, but he struggled from the start. The Pirates left three runners on in the first two innings, but broke through in a big way in the third.

Josh Harrison started the inning with a single, and Walker followed with a homer just inside the right-field foul pole. Andrew McCutchen followed with a single, and Pedro Alvarez moved him to third with a one-out double.

McCutchen scored on Francisco Cervelli's groundout, Alvarez came home on Gregory Polanco's RBI single, and after a wild pitch, Jose Iglesias's throwing error allowed Polanco to score Pittsburgh's fifth run.

Simon was pulled after giving up his 15th hit, but Walker made it 6-1 by scoring on Al Alburquerque's wild pitch. The Tigers got a run back in the bottom of the sixth on Yoenis Cespedes' RBI groundout.

Walker, Starling Marte and Alvarez homered off Joba Chamberlain in the eighth to make it 9-2. James McCann homered in the bottom of the ninth to finish the scoring.


Pirates: Walker needed treatment in the sixth inning after Miguel Cabrera accidentally hit him in the face as he reached for a wild throw, but was able to stay in the game. . OF Corey Hart (shoulder) went 1-4 in his first rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis.

Tigers: C Alex Avila is hitting .313 in five rehab games with Triple-A Toledo and caught most of Wednesday's loss to Durham. Avila could rejoin the Tigers as soon as this weekend and is expected to share time with McCann.


The teams finish the three-game series Thursday afternoon, with Detroit's Kyle Ryan (1-1, 4.56) facing Francisco Liriano (4-6, 3.21). Ryan warmed up briefly during Tuesday night's marathon, but the Tigers didn't end up needing him. Liriano has faced the Tigers 26 times, including 19 starts, but is 1-9 in his last 14 appearances.