Cold Tigers bats make Michael Fulmer hard-luck 1-0 loser
Detroit – The Tigers and Pirates played a baseball game here Sunday very befitting the weather – brisk.
And as you might expect with 36-degree temperatures at first pitch, the pitchers had the upper hand.
Right-hander Trevor Williams, in fact, pitched six no-hit innings, helping the Pirates beat the Tigers 1-0 in front of a Comerica Park crowd 14,858. It was the smallest Comerica Park crowd since May 2006.
Williams was pulled from the game after six innings. He had walked five and his pitch count was at 85. Three of those five walks were erased in double plays.
The Tigers broke up the no-hitter with one out in the seventh against reliever Michael Feliz. Nick Castellanos doubled into the corner in left field. But that’s as far as he got.
BOX SCORE: Pirates 1, Tigers 0
They managed one other hit – a two-out single by Dixon Machado in the eighth off reliever George Kontos. Kontos walked Leonys Martin, but with two outs, got Jeimer Candelario to ground out to second base.
It was only the fifth at-bat with a runner in scoring position.
Pirates closer Felipe Rivero, throwing 98-mph bullets, went through the heart of the Tigers order in the ninth – Miguel Cabrera (strikeout swinging), Castellanos (strikeout swinging) and Victor Martinez (strikeout swinging).
Tigers starter Michael Fulmer, wearing short sleeves despite the chill, pitched a strong game himself. He went eight innings, allowing only four hits.
The Pirates scored their lone run in the first inning on a walk and an RBI double by Gregory Polanco.
After that, Fulmer allowed only three runners to get to second base. One of them, Josh Bell, was thrown out at third by catcher John Hicks – Bell was trying to advance on a ball in the dirt.
Closer Shane Greene threw a 22-pitch scoreless ninth. He survived despite allowing two singles and a walk. Hicks threw out Adam Frazier trying to steal second base, which helped. And a brilliant back-hand stab by Miguel Cabrera at first saved two runs.
This wasn’t the first time Williams has stymied the Tigers. He pitched seven scoreless, one-hit innings against them in Pittsburgh last August. The five walks aside, the Tigers didn’t even make a lot of hard contact off him Sunday.
Mikie Mahtook lined out to center field in the fifth – a ball that left his bat at 105 mph – and Machado flew out to deep right-center in the sixth. That was the extent of it.
This was the first game of a doubleheader, with the second game scheduled for a 6:10 p.m. start. It is the earliest date in MLB history that a doubleheader has been played.