After almost being no-hit in the opener of their weekend series in Detroit, the Pittsburgh Pirates have regrouped to put themselves in position to continue their recent interleague success.
Hoping to build on their latest victory, the Pirates try for a fourth consecutive winning interleague series Sunday against the Tigers at Comerica Park.
Less than 24 hours after breaking up a no-hit bid by reigning AL MVP Justin Verlander in the ninth inning, Pittsburgh (19-21) rebounded to even the set with a 4-3 win over Detroit on Saturday. Andrew McCutchen hit a pair of two-run homers and A.J. Burnett threw six strong innings to help the Pirates improve to 3-3 on a seven-game trip.
"You just show up and get 'em the next day," said McCutchen, who went 0 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout against Verlander in Friday's 6-0 defeat.
While they look for a second straight winning series against the Tigers (19-21), only once in their previous four trips have the Pirates won a set in Detroit.
Pittsburgh likely needs a bounce-back effort from scheduled starter Kevin Correia (1-4, 4.50 ERA), who looks to avoid a fifth straight losing start. The right-hander, 0-4 with a 5.79 ERA in five starts since winning at San Francisco on April 15, gave up a season-high six runs - five in the fourth inning - and walked four in 3 2-3 innings of a 6-2 loss at Miami on Tuesday.
He was much better in his first appearance against Detroit, giving up two runs in 6 2-3 innings of 6-2 home win May 21.
Among the major league leaders with a .346 batting average, McCutchen is 13 for 29 (.448) with five home runs and nine RBIs in his last eight contests. He's hitting .375 with those two homers and seven RBIs in 11 games versus Detroit.
McCutchen is 3 for 8 against scheduled Detroit starter Max Scherzer (2-3, 6.26), who went 0-3 with a 9.88 ERA against NL opponents in 2011.
The best of Scherzer's three interleague starts last season came at Pittsburgh against Correia in May, when he allowed three runs and struck out seven in 5 2-3 innings. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in three career starts against the Pirates.
Scherzer hopes to bounce back after he gave up six runs and eight hits in four innings of a 10-8 win at Chicago on Tuesday.
Prince Fielder hit his seventh home run and Brennan Boesch had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 12 games Saturday for the Tigers (19-21), who have lost three of four. Fielder is 12 for 24 with two homers and eight RBIs in his last six games after suffering through an 0-for-21 stretch.
He's 10 for 18 with four home runs and nine RBIs in his last five games versus Pittsburgh.
Boesch, meanwhile, is batting .341 during his hitting streak.
"It looks like some of the guys are beginning to swing better,'' Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "We've got to have some timely two-out hits.''
The Tigers have dropped five of their last eight games against NL opponents.
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Andrew McCutchen