Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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MLB Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates (22-19) at Detroit Tigers (18-21)


THE PIRATES: Had the day off yesterday in Detroit…Ended their four-game losing streak with Sunday’s win at Baltimore…Won seven straight games from 4/17-23, their longest winning streak since 2018 (11 games)…Are 1.0 game out of first place coming into today in the National League Central.

THE MATURATION OF MITCH: Mitch Keller became the first Pirates righthander to strike out at least 13 batters in a game on Sunday since Jose DeLeon had a club-record tying 14 on April 16, 1985, vs. the New York Mets…He also became the first Pirates pitcher in team history to have a start of at least 7.0 shutout innings with 13 strikeouts and no walks according to Baseball Reference.

ABOUT TONIGHT’S STARTER: Luis Ortiz will make his second start of the season with the Pirates since being promoted from Triple-A on May 9…Ortiz went 2-1 with a 2.23 ERA (32.1ip/8er), 11 walks allowed, 29 strikeouts, two home runs allowed, .174 batting average against and 0.96 WHIP in seven starts this season at Triple-A…At the time of his promotion to the big leagues, Ortiz ranked second in the International League in ERA and first in both batting average against and OPS.

HERE’S THE PITCH: The Pirates recorded 17 strikeouts while also not issuing a walk in Sunday’s win at Baltimore…It was the most strikeouts in a nine-inning game for the Pirates since also fanning 17 batters on August 19, 2013, at San Diego…According to @StatsOp, it was also the first time the Pirates had 16-plus strikeouts with no walks since 1913.

THE RENEGADE: David Bednar comes into today with the third-lowest ERA (0.56) among all relievers in MLB…The only two relievers to produce lower earned run averages in MLB are Baltimore’s Yennier Cano (0.00) and David Robertson of the Mets (0.53)…Bednar also ranks fourth among all relievers in MLB in walks per 9.0 innings (0.56).

ON THE ROAD: The Pirates come into today with the fourth-lowest road ERA (3.21) in all of MLB behind the Braves (2.67), Mariners (3.11) and Twins (3.17)…Pittsburgh’s 12 road wins are third-most among all National League teams behind the Braves (16) and Mets (13)…The Pirates have also scored 106 runs on the road this season, which ranks eighth in MLB and third in the National League behind the Braves (127) and Mets (114).

SETTING UP THE SERIES: The Pirates are 9-3 at Comerica Park since the beginning of 2017…This is Pittsburgh’s second series against the American League Central this season after taking two of three games against the White Sox from April 7-9 at PNC Park…In addition to this series, the Pirates will also host the Tigers for two games later this season at PNC Park from August 1-2.

TAMING THE TIGERS: Carlos Santana has hit 27 home runs in his career against the Tigers (the only two teams he has homered against more are the Royals and Twins with 31 apiece)…Santana’s 27 home runs vs. Detroit are tied for the second-most among all active players along with Jose Abreu and Nelson Cruz…The only active player to hit more home runs against the Tigers is Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez.

PLAYING THE FIELD: Pittsburgh’s third basemen rank first in all of MLB with a total of seven Defensive Runs Saved according to the Fielding Bible…The club’s first basemen rank second in all of MLB with four Defensive Runs Saved according to the Fielding Bible (the Giants lead the way with five among first basemen)…Individually, Ke’Bryan Hayes’ eight Defensive Runs Saved are the most among third basemen while Carlos Santana is one of three first basemen with three Defensive Runs Saved per the Fielding Bible.

PIRATING: The Pirates come into today leading all of MLB with 50 stolen bases…The next closest team is Cleveland (42)… Pittsburgh hasn’t led all of MLB in stolen bases since swiping 260 bags in 1977.

LUIS ORTIZ: The 24-year-old righthander will be making his second start of the season tonight after being promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis on 5/9…Allowed five runs (2er) in 5.0 innings while losing a 10-1 decision against Colorado in his 2023 season debut on 5/9 at PNC Park…Struck out 138 batters in 134.1 innings between Indianapolis and Double-A Altoona in 2022…Entered 2023 as Pittsburgh’s No. 4 prospect according to Baseball America.

vs. DETROIT: Has never faced the Tigers.


TIGERS SALVAGE SERIES FINALE VS. SEATTLE: The Tigers defeated the Mariners, 5-3, on Sunday, salvaging the series finale. Riley Greene had three hits and scored a run, while Javier Báez added a hit and drove in two runs. Akil Baddoo and Andy Ibáñez each contributed a hit and a RBI. Joey Wentz started for Detroit, allowing three runs on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 2.2 innings. The Tigers bullpen was outstanding, combining for 6.1 scoreless frames. Jason Foley was credited with the win, while Alex Lange pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts for his seventh save.

GOING GREENE: Riley Greene posted his fourth three-hit game of the season on Sunday against Seattle. His four three-hit performances this season is tied for fifth in the American League. Greene has recorded at least one hit in 15 of his last 17 games, batting .353/.397/.471 with five doubles, a homer and nine RBI. Since April 26, Greene ranks sixth in the American League and ninth in the Majors in batting average.

LOCKDOWN LANGE: Alex Lange notched his seventh save of the season on Sunday, striking out two and walking two in a scoreless ninth inning. Lange has not allowed a run in 14 straight games, the longest streak of his career. Over those 14 outings, he has thrown 13.1 scoreless innings with five hits allowed, six walks and 23 strikeouts. Entering tonight’s game, Lange ranks tied for seventh in the American League with seven saves.

JAV MERCY: Javier Báez drove in two runs and went 1×5 in Sunday’s victory over the Mariners. Báez has reached base safely in 23 of his last 26 games, dating back to April 13. Over that span, he is hitting .316/.370/.469 with six doubles, three homers and 17 RBI.

TIGERS AND PIRATES: The Tigers and Pirates begin their four-game season series tonight. Along with the two games this week in Detroit, the two teams will also play in Pittsburgh on August 1-2. The Tigers went 3-1 against the Pirates last season, including splitting a two-game series at Comerica Park.

INTERLEAGUE ACTION: The Tigers resume their interleague schedule tonight against the Pirates. Detroit has started the season 9-2 against National League foes. The Tigers have finished with a winning record against NL opponents in each of the last two seasons.

AT COMERICA PARK: The Tigers are 1-2 on their current five-game homestand, which includes three games vs. Seattle (1-2) and two games vs. Pittsburgh (May 16-17). Detroit has a 9-9 record at home this season. As a team, the Tigers are hitting .240/.303/.376 at Comerica Park, while
the pitching staff has a 4.50 ERA (166.0IP/83ER).


  • RHP Beau Brieske (right upper arm discomfort, 60-day IL on March 30, retroactive to March 27)
  • OF Kerry Carpenter (right shoulder sprain, 10-day IL on April 29, retroactive to April 28)
  • RHP Matt Manning (right foot fracture, 60-day IL on April 12)
  • OF Austin Meadows (anxiety, 60-day IL on April 8, retroactive to April 7)
  • RHP Casey Mize (right elbow sprain, 60-day IL on February 17)
  • RHP Freddy Pacheco (right elbow sprain, 60-day IL on March 27)
  • LHP Tarik Skubal (left elbow strain, 60-day IL on March 14)
  • RHP Spencer Turnbull (neck discomfort, 15-day IL on May 12, retroactive to May 7)
  • RHP Trey Wingenter (right biceps tendinitis, 15-day IL on April 22, retroactive to April 19)

TONIGHT’S TIGERS STARTING PITCHER – #21 Michael Lorenzen • 1-2, 4.18 ERA (28.0IP/13ER)

  • Lorenzen will make his sixth start of the season tonight in the series opener vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Posted his second consecutive impressive start in his most recent start last Tuesday at Cleveland, allowing only one run on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts in 7.0 innings…marked his second straight start with 7.0 innings pitched and one run allowed, the first time in his career he has done so.
  • Has had success in his career against the Pirates, posting a 6-2 record with two saves, a 2.96 ERA (73.0IP/24ER) and 51 strikeouts…among
    active pitchers with at least 50.0 innings pitched against Pittsburgh, Lorenzen ranks 10th in ERA…in four career outings, including three starts, at Comerica Park, he has a 2-0 record with a 4.08 ERA (17.2IP/8ER) and nine strikeouts.
  • Started 18 games with the Angels in 2022 and went 8-6 with a 4.24 ERA (97.2IP/46ER) and 85 strikeouts…finished the season strong, posting a 2-0 record with a 2.36 ERA (26.2IP/7ER) and 30 strikeouts over five starts from September 9-October 4.
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