Right-hander Trevor Williams tossed six hitless innings, Gregory Polanco drove in the only run and the Pittsburgh Pirates blanked the Detroit Tigers 1-0 in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday.
Williams was effectively wild, walking five batters and striking out one while throwing 85 pitches. Felipe Rivero recorded his first save, striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth. Michael Feliz and George Kontos set up the save by recording three outs apiece.
Polanco, who has five RBIs in two games, delivered the game’s only run with a first-inning double. Cleanup hitter Josh Bell added two hits.
Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer was the hard-luck loser. He gave up just four hits while walking two and striking out three in eight innings.
Nicholas Castellanos and Dixon Machado had the only hits for the Tigers.
The pitchers’ duel was a stark contrast to a wild Opening Day matchup on Friday, which the Pirates won 13-10 in 13 innings. Polanco had the game-winning, three-run homer that day.
The Pirates took the lead three batters into the game. Adam Frazier drew a leadoff walk. After Josh Harrison lined out, Frazier came around to score on Polanco’s double to right. Polanco was thrown out at third on the play.
Williams got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the fifth when Mikie Mahtook lined out and Jose Iglesias flied out.
Castellanos ended the Pirates’ no-hit bid with a one-out double in the seventh. He was stranded when Feliz retired the next two batters.
Kontos wiggled out of a two-on, two-out situation in the eighth by inducing Jeimer Candelario to ground out.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera saved two runs in the top of the ninth, snaring Corey Dickerson’s one-hopper and flipping the ball to reliever Shane Greene with runners in scoring position.
Rivero blew a four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth on Friday but was dominant in his second outing. Facing the heart of the order, he struck out Cabrera, Castellanos and Victor Martinez to end the game.
—Field Level Media