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Recap: Pirates 1, Tigers 0
Boxscores    Line Movements    BT Movements
Game: 2
Venue: Comerica Park
Date: May 28, 2013 7:08 PM EDT
  

DETROIT (AP) - Jason Grilli has picked up a lot of saves in his years as a closer, but none tougher than what he had to do against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.

Grilli came into the game in the bottom of the 11th inning with the Pittsburgh Pirates clinging to a 1-0 lead and the heart of Detroit's order - Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder - awaiting him.

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``That's as good as it gets in any lineup in the game,' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ``That's why you have a closer.'

For Grilli, it also meant trying to finish a game at Comerica Park - a stadium where he had been booed relentlessly at the end of his four-season stint with the Tigers.

``I have nothing but great memories of this place,' Grilli said. ``This is where Jim (Leyland) turned me into a reliever, and despite what the media might think I love coming back here.'

If the situation or the setting bothered Grilli, it certainly didn't show. He struck out Hunter, Cabrera and Fielder in order, ending the game as the clock approached 11:30 p.m.

``That's a great offense, and Miguel Cabrera is probably the best hitter in baseball right now,' Grilli said. ``So I was trying to not make a big mistake, but you can't spend much time thinking about that. You just go out there and win the game.'

Grilli certainly impressed the first of his victims while posting his 21st save in as many chances.

``I faced him when I was in Minnesota and he was here in Detroit, and he's a different pitcher now,' Hunter said. ``He's smart and he's got a little deception going. He jumps out at you, and before you know it, the ball is gone.'

Leyland knows just how far Grilli has come since moving to the bullpen in 2006.

``He's found a home and he's found a role and he's been terrific,' he said. ``That's 21-for-21, and to do that against the heart of our order - that's impressive.'

Grilli finished what Jeanmar Gomez had started. Gomez matched a career best with seven shutout innings in a duel with Detroit's Rick Porcello, who worked eight.

``I was just feeling really good today,' said Gomez, who threw only 73 pitches. ``Every one of my pitches was working, so I was working ahead in the count and down in the zone. That's what made it good.'

The game was scoreless until Neil Walker - the brother-in-law of Tigers center fielder Don Kelly - homered off Jose Ortega (0-2) with one out in the top of the 11th.

``I've been swinging the bat really well on this road trip, and I've been getting the barrel on the ball just about every night,' Walker said. ``That kid throws hard, but he kind of floated a slider into the strike zone and I was able to drive it.'

Mark Melanson (1-0) picked up the win with a scoreless 10th inning for Pittsburgh.

Porcello also matched a career best with his eight innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters. Porcello isn't the first Tigers pitcher to dominate Pittsburgh at Comerica Park. Last season, Justin Verlander took a no-hitter into the ninth against the Pirates, two days before Max Scherzer struck out 15 batters in a 4-3 victory.

``Someone said to me today that we seem to strike out a lot in this ballpark,' Hurdle said. ``I told them to look at Detroit's pitching staff. Everyone strikes out a lot against those guys.'

Gomez got some help from center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who made a running catch to rob Andy Dirks of extra bases in the third inning and another to steal a double from Fielder in the seventh.

Pedro Alvarez led off the eighth with a single and took second when Travis Snider walked - the first time either team had put a runner into scoring position - but Porcello got Clint Barmes to ground into an inning-ending double play.

In the bottom of the inning, Omar Infante got to second on a one-out throwing error by Barmes at shortstop. Reliever Justin Wilson retired pinch-hitter Brayan Pena on a ground ball, and struck out Dirks.

Walker singled off Joaquin Benoit in the ninth, stole second and took third on Pena's throwing error, but Garrett Jones flew out to end the threat. Victor Martinez almost ended the deadlock in the bottom of the ninth, but Starling Marte made a running catch of his liner at the fence in left.

Both teams put runners into scoring position in the 10th, but couldn't get a run across until Walker's no-doubt homer in the 11th.

``We had chances in the eighth, ninth and 10th, but we couldn't get the big hit,' Hurdle said. ``We finally got that in the 11th.'

NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 1:13 by rain. ... The Pirates placed Jose Contreras (low back inflammation) on the 15-day disabled list and recalled reliever Bryan Morris from Triple-A Indianapolis. ... The Tigers have struck out 10 or more batters 28 times - the second-highest total in franchise history behind last season's 50. Detroit is currently on pace for 91 double-digit games. ... Porcello pitched into the ninth on July 21, 2012 against the White Sox, but didn't record an out.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Pirates at Tigers
Mon, May 27 Final 5 to 6
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Pirates at Tigers
Tue, May 28 Final 1 to 0
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Tigers at Pirates
Wed, May 29 Final 3 to 5
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 4
Tigers at Pirates
Thu, May 30 Final 0 to 1
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CLOSING LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 PIT  +145   -150   9.5 
 DET  -155   +130   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CLOSING SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 PIT  +141   -140   9.5 
 DET  -156   +120   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 PIT  44%   29%   76% 
 DET  56%   71%   24% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB RECAPS
 Tuesday, May 28
 
    Braves at Blue Jays
12:35 PM EDT
    Rockies at Astros
2:10 PM EDT
    Pirates at Tigers
7:05 PM EDT
    Orioles at Nationals
7:05 PM EDT
    Phillies at Red Sox
7:10 PM EDT
    Yankees at Mets
7:10 PM EDT
    Indians at Reds
7:10 PM EDT
    Marlins at Rays
7:10 PM EDT
    Cubs at White Sox
8:10 PM EDT
    Cardinals at Royals
8:10 PM EDT
    Twins at Brewers
8:10 PM EDT
    Giants at Athletics
10:05 PM EDT
    Padres at Mariners
10:10 PM EDT
    Angels at Dodgers
10:10 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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