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Pirates 1, Tigers 0 (11 innings)

The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- Sooner or later, somebody had to score.

Russell Martin's bases-loaded single with none out in the bottom of the 11th inning gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night at PNC Park.

Martin's hit off the left-center field fence ended a night of offensive frustration -- and good pitching -- for both teams. The Tigers stranded 11 runners and the Pirates left 10 men on base.

Neil Walker started the winning rally with a single to right field off Luke Putkonen (1-2). Andrew McCutchen walked and Gaby Sanchez bounced a single into left field to load the bases. Martin then delivered the winning hit as Pittsburgh (34-20) won for the 16th time in its last 20 games.

Bryan Morris (3-2) pitched one scoreless inning for the win.

Detroit (29-22) lost its third consecutive game.

Tigers starter Doug Fister was dominant, holding the Pirates to four hits in seven scoreless innings. He struck out 12 and walked one.

Pirates starter Jeff Locke ran his streak of scoreless innings to 19 1/3 as he was able to get through 5 1/3 innings with allowing a run. The Tigers managed seven hits off the left-hander, who had three strikeouts and one walk.

Walker had two hits for Pittsburgh. Miguel Cabrera had two doubles for Detroit and Omar Infante added two hits.

Detroit put runners in scoring position in the sixth, eighth and ninth but failed to score.

Vin Mazzaro relieved Locke with one out in the sixth and runners on first and second and quelled the threat by striking out Matt Tuiasosopo and getting Brayan Pena to ground out.

Faced with runners on the corners and one out in the seventh, Mazzaro induced a popout from Andy Dirks before Cabrera grounded out.

In the ninth, Infante doubled with two outs and Dirks following by hitting a ball to the gap in deep right center that McCutchen, the center fielder, ran down at the front of the warning track.

Pittsburgh had a runner on second with one out in the eighth but didn't score as Walker flied to shallow right and McCutchen grounded out to shortstop against Joaquin Benoit.

Both teams squandered scoring chances in the middle innings with the game scoreless.

The Pirates opened the fourth with three consecutive singles but failed to score. Walker short-circuited the rally by getting caught trying to steal second base for the first out.

The Tigers had four singles in a row to start the fifth but also didn't score. Tuiasosopo was thrown out at home trying to score from second base for the first out, Pena was forced out at home on a fielder's choice grounder and Dirks made the final out on a grounder to second with the bases loaded.

NOTES: Detroit SS Jhonny Peralta was ejected by home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez for arguing a called third strike to end the fourth inning. Peralta went 0 for 2 and had his 10-game hitting streak end. ... Tigers RF Torii Hunter sat out with the bruised left elbow that he suffered Wednesday night when hit by a pitch from Pittsburgh RHP Bryan Morris. Hunter said he will be ready to return to the lineup on Sunday at Baltimore after he misses games Friday and Saturday against the Orioles to attend his son Torii Jr.'s high school graduation in Prosper, Texas. ... Pittsburgh 3B Pedro Alvarez missed the game after having dental surgery earlier in the day to remove two wisdom teeth. He expects to return to the lineup on Friday for the opener of a three-game series with Cincinnati. ... Cabrera hit his 400th career double in the first inning. ... Tigers RHP Max Scherzer (7-0, 3.42) will face Orioles RHP Miguel Gonzalez (2-2, 3.94) on Friday night and Pittsburgh LHP Wandy Rodriguez (6-2, 3.58) opposes Cincinnati RHP Johnny Cueto (2-0, 2.76).
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