Tigers beat Pirates behind big game from Greene

By Geoff Robinson, Special to The Detroit News

Final (Tigers 2, Pirates 0)

Shane Greene could've finished this one out. But because of NL rules, the Tigers took his bat away from him in the top of the 9th and added an insurance run.

The game was Joakim Soria's to finish, and finish it he did.

Pinch-hitter Andrew Lambo led off for the Pirates in the final inning, and Soria got him to bounce out to the mound.

Josh Harrison also bounced out to the mound, and the game ended on a fly out off the bat of Gregory Polanco.

The story of the night was Greene, who has yet to allow an earned run in a Tigers uniform. He pushed his record to 2-0 and his line for the night was: 8 IP, 3H, 3K and 3BB

Top 9th (Tigers 2, Pirates 0)

With men on first and second and two outs, Ian Kinsler drove in an insurance run to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

Miguel Cabrera struck out looking to end the inning.

Jose Iglesias hustled his way to a one-out double and Brad Ausmus had a decision to make with Shane Greene on deck.

Ausmus decided to pinch-hit Victor Martinez to try and get the insurance run. Martinez couldn't get the job done as he struck out after a battle with Pirates pitcher Arquimedes Caminero.

Pittsburgh brought in right-hander Rob Scahill to face Rajai Davis with two outs and Davis fought off quite a few pitches before drawing a walk.

Alex Avila grounded out into the shift to start the inning.

Joakim Soria is coming out for the 9th to try and close this game.

Bottom 8th (Tigers 1, Pirates 0)

Pedro Alvarez grounded out to second, Francisco Cervelli struck out and Jordy Mercer lined out to a diving Ian Kinsler as the Tigers continue to play great defense behind Shane Greene.

Andrew Romine replaced Nick Castellanos at third base to start the inning.

Greene could be out for the 9th inning as he's thrown just 81 pitches, but with National League rules in affect and the pitcher's spot due up for the Tigers, Brad Ausmus could have a decision to make should the Tigers get men on base.

Top 8th (Tigers 1, Pirates 0)

Yoenis Cespedes drew a two-out walk, but Nick Castellanos grounded out on the first pitch he saw to end the inning.

Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez both grounded out to third base to start the inning.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was tossed during Cespedes' at-bat for arguing balls and strikes. It appeared Arquimedes Caminero had ended the inning with a breaking ball right down the middle to Cespedes, but the umpire called it a ball. Maybe Caminero, who throws 100 MPH, fooled the umpire as well as the hitter with that pitch.

Bottom 7th (Tigers 1, Pirates 0)

Shane Greene had the meat of the Pirates order coming up in the seventh inning, and he passed the test with flying colors as he set Pittsburgh down in order.

Andrew McCutchen grounded out to Jose Iglesias, Neil Walker flew out to center field and Corey Hart flew out to left field.

Greene still has two innings to go, but he's making a strong bid to go the distance in this one. He has now gone 15 innings without allowing an earned run this season.

Top 7th (Tigers 1, Pirates 0)

Rajai Davis shot a two-out single through the middle of the infield, and Alex Avila came home to score as the Tigers took 1-0 lead following back-to-back walks from A.J. Burnett to Avila and Jose Iglesias.

Burnett was pulled following the Davis RBI.

The inning ended when Ian Kinsler grounded out to new Pirates pitcher Arquimedes Caminero.

Following the back-to-back walks with one out, Shane Greene showed his inexperience at the plate when, once again, he couldn't get anywhere close to bunting the ball for a sacrifice. He struck out on a foul-tip bunt attempt. It was the first time he made contact with the ball.

Greene has been very good tonight on the mound, and because his pitch count is still in such good shape, Brad Ausmus didn't pull the trigger with Victor Martinez as a pinch-hitter.

In the first at-bat of the inning, Nick Castellanos hit the ball hard to third, but Josh Harrison made a nifty pick and threw to first for the out with plenty of time to spare.

Burnett's final line was: 6 2/3 IP, 111 pitches, 1ER, 8K, 2BB

Bottom 6th (Tigers 0, Pirates 0)

Jose Iglesias robbed A.J. Burnett of a hit with a spectacular play going to his right where he threw off his back foot across the diamond for the first out.

J.D. Martinez made a pretty good defensive play of his own on a line drive off the bat of Josh Harrison for the second out. Gregory Polanco grounded out to Ian Kinsler to end the inning.

Shane Green has been impressive. The Tigers pitcher has thrown just 61 pitches (44 strikes) and has limited the hard-hit balls off the Pirates bats.

Top 6th (Tigers 0, Pirates 0)

Miguel Cabrera got a one-out single to right, but J.D. Martinez struck out looking and Yoenis Cespedes flew out to right field to end the inning.

Ian Kinsler flew out to right field to leadoff the inning.

The Tigers have now left six men on base.

A.J. Burnett continues to limit the damage, but his pitch count through six innings is now at 87 pitches.

Bottom 5th (Tigers 0, Pirates 0)

Francisco Cervelli singled to left field with one out, but Shane Greene buckled down and got Jordy Mercy to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Pedro Alvarez flew out to center field to leadoff the inning.

Greene continues to impress. There's simply no other way to put it.

Top 5th (Tigers 0, Pirates 0)

Jose Iglesias reached base after a dribbler down the third base line bounced off the bag when Josh Harrison tried to let the ball go foul. It was the Tigers first hit with less than two outs as it came out following an Alex Avila groundout. But Shane Greene was up next and struck out trying to sacrifice Iglesias to second. Luckily for Greene, Iglesias swiped second base anyway on the third strike.

Unfortunately for the Tigers, Rajai Davis grounded out to second base to end the inning.

Bottom 4th (Tigers 0, Pirates 0)

Andrew McCutchen bounced out to Shane Greene, Neil Walker grounded out to first and Corey Hart struck out as Greene continues to roll through the Pittsburgh lineup.

It's been a pitchers duel so far tonight. Greene has a little bit of an edge because of his pitch count (47) and the fact he hasn't allowed a single hard hit ball.

The Pirates have just two hits, both coming on infield singles.

Top 4th (Tigers 0, Pirates 0)

J.D. Martinez hit a line drive single and Yoenis Cespedes hit a double off the right field wall to put men on second and third with two outs.

Nick Castellanos battled A.J. Burnett, but eventually struck out to end the inning as Burnett ended up striking out the side.

Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera struck out to start the inning.

The Tigers have four hits tonight, and all have come with two outs.

After looking like he was on cruise control, A.J. Burnett labored to get the final out of the inning. His pitch count is in OK shape after four innings (59).

Bottom 3rd (Tigers 0, Pirates 0)

Jordy Mercer grounded out very softly as Alex Avila came out of his crouch to make the throw to first and A.J. Burnett struck out on four pitches from Shane Greene.

Josh Harrison reached on an infield single as yet again Jose Iglesias just missed an out on a great defensive play.

Gregory Polanco grounded out to Iglesias for out number three.

Greene continues to look good. His pitch count is in very good shape through three innings (35) and Pirates hitters haven't hit a ball hard yet.

Top 3rd (Tigers 0, Pirates 0)

Rajai Davis reached on an infield single with two outs, but the Tigers center fielder was picked off by A.J. Burnett before Ian Kinsler ever saw a pitch.

Davis was ready to run. He took his first step toward second when Greene turned and first to first. Rajai tried to make it back, but he'd gone to far to his right and got crossed up in his attempt.

Jose Iglesias grounded out and Shane Greene struck out looking in his first Major League at-bat to start the inning.

Bottom 2nd (Tigers 0, Pirates 0)

Neil Walker flied out to left and Corey Hart grounded out to third for the first two outs of the inning.

Pedro Alvarez picked up a single on a sparkling defensive gem by Jose Iglesias as the Tigers shortstop impossibly got to a ball up the middle before corralling it and barely missing getting the out at first base.

Francisco Cervelli grounded out to third to end the inning.

Greene has thrown 21 pitches through two innings. 14 strikes, 7 balls.

Top 2nd (Tigers 0, Pirates 0)

J.D. Martinez grounded out to second base and Yoenis Cespedes struck out to start the inning.

Nick Castellanos hit the first pitch he saw to center field for the first hit of the night. Alex Avila battled A.J. Burnett after falling behind 0-2, but he eventually lost as he grounded out to first base to end the inning.

Bottom 1st (Tigers 0, Pirates 0)

Josh Harrison flew out to right field, Gregory Polanco lined out to second base and Andrew McCutchen flew out as Tigers starter Shane Greene threw just eight first inning pitches.

Top 1st (Tigers 0, Pirates 0)

Rajai Davis flew out to right field to leadoff the game and Ian Kinsler hit the first pitch he saw hard to left field, but right at Pittsburgh left fielder Gregory Polanco for the second out. Miguel Cabrera also put a charge into a ball, but flew out to right field.

The Tigers had three good swings against Pirates starter A.J. Burnett. If they are seeing the ball that well off of him early, it could bode well as this game moves along.

TIGERS LINEUP

1. Rajai Davis, CF

2. Ian Kinsler, 2B

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. J.D. Martinez, RF

5. Yoenis Cespedes, LF

6. Nick Castellanos, 3B

7. Alex Avila, C

8. Jose Iglesias, SS

9. Shane Greene, RHP

PIRATES LINEUP

1. Josh Harrison, 3B

2. Gregory Polanco, LF

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Neil Walker, 2B

5. Corey Hart, RF

6. Pedro Alvarez, 1B

7. Francisco Cervelli, C

8. Jordy Mercer, SS

9. A.J. Burnett, RHP