Mr. Perfecto Armando Galarraga was sharp and so was Jeff Karstens. It came down to the bullpens in the end and the Pirates relief corp faltered.
Karstens allowed just four hits through the first six innings. Garrett Jones drove in a pair of runs in the early going – an RBI double and a solo dinger – to stake the Pirates to a 2-0 lead. Karstens gave up a solo homer to Tiger catcher Alex Avila in the 7th inning. Karstens started the 8th but was pulled after Carlos Guillen singled. D.J. Carrasco relieved and got two outs. Javier Lopez was called upon as Johnny Damon stepped to the plate. Damon walked. Out goes Lopez, in comes Octavio Dotel. Miguel Cabrera treated him rudely with a three run dinger that put the Tigers up 4-2.
Galarrage was pulled with two out in the 8th. He allowed six hits and a walk, but struck out none. Karstens went 7 plus and gave up two runs on six hits and one walk. He K’d three. Lopez was the loser as he walked the go ahead run in Damon. Brad Thomas, who got the last out in the 8th was the winner. Jose Valverde allowed a run in the 9th (Ryan Doumit doubled and scored on a sac fly from Delwyn Young), but got PH Aki Iwamura to end it.
Jones continues to rake. Andrew McCutchen also had two hits.
No complaints about Karstens.
Dropping 8 straight.
Having Iwamura as the best PH option in a tie game in the 9th. He has more homers (2) than Bobby Crosby (1) and Lastings Milledge (0) combined. So, he was called on. And he failed.
Jones hit his fourth homer of the month, tying his best month of 2010 – April. He hit at least five homers in each month in 2009.
Karstens had never faced Detroit prior to today’s game. Galarraga, believe it or not, lost his only appearance against Pittsburgh a year ago today.
Jose Tabata has a four game hitting streak to start his career.
Bucs were 30-33 after 63 games last year. They are 23-40 this year.