Rick Porcello allowed just one hit through eight innings. The Pirates once again struggled to get some runs for Paul Maholm. In the end, the Pirates were unable to sweep Detroit and fell two games below .500.
Detroit got on the board in the second. Victor Martinez walked. Consecutive two out singles from Brandon Inge and Chris Wells scored Martinez. In the fourth Jhonny Peralta homered to make it 2-0.
The Pirates didn’t get a hit off Porcello until Ronny Cedeno doubled leading off the seventh. Pinch hitter Xavier Paul dropped down a successful sac bunt. Andrew McCutchen walked and it appeared the Pirates might be in business. But Jose Tabata bounced into an inning ending double play.
The Pirates other shot at scoring came in the ninth off of Jose Valverde. Paul, who remained in the game after his pinch hitting appearance, singled. Valverde plunked McCutchen. Ryan Doumit pinch hit and struck out. Garrett Jones hit a grounder to the first base side of second that pushed both runners up a base. But Neil Walker grounded out to end the game.
Porcello went eight and allowed no runs on one hit and two walks. He struck out three. Maholm scuffled through 5-1/3 innings. He allowed both runs on six hits and two walks. He K’d five.
Maholm was so-so. He deserved better.
The bullpen contributed 3-2/3 innings of shutout baseball, including two more shutout innings from Daniel McCutchen.
Pirate pitchers struck out a total of ten Tigers.
Porcello is now 2-0 against Pittsburgh. He has allowed just one run in 15 innings against them.
That was Maholm’s second career appearance against Detroit and his first decision.
The Pirates have been shutout five times in 2011. Through June 2010, the Pirates had been shutout seven times.