Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/11/14
The Pirates pitched their 9th shutout of the season, and second 11-inning shutout against the Tigers, and Russell Martin hit a walkoff single off the wall to beat Detroit 1-0 Thursday night. Russell Martin hit the walkoff single in the 11th, his second walkoff in two weeks. (Photo Credit: David Hague) Russell Martin smacked a fastball 400 feet to the North Shore Notch to score Neil Walker and the game’s only run. Walker had been held at third base with no outs on Gaby Sanchez’s single to left the previous at-bat. “Obviously he probably wanted it in a different spot,” Martin said about his walkoff winner. “Off the bat, it felt good.” Jeff Locke, Vin Mazzaro, Justin Wilson, Mark Melancon and Bryan Morris combined to quiet one of baseball’s loudest offenses and allow the Pirates (34-20) take the third of four games against the defending American League-champion Tigers (29-23). “They got a great lineup over there,” Mazzaro said. “It’s unbelievable.” Both teams had opportunities to score in the middle innings that were negated by making outs on the basepaths. In the Bottom 4th, Walker led off with a ground-ball single to left field, but catcher Brayan Pena threw him out second base (no missed sign there, Walker said). Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones followed up with singles to make three straight hits, but Tigers pitcher Doug Fister struck out Martin and got Travis Snider to fly out. Fister notched a season-high 12 strikeouts (most since 2011) and scattered five baserunners over his seven shutout innings. The Pirates’ hitters struck out at least 11 times for their fifth straight game, setting a new franchise record, but went 4-1 over those contests. Detroit’s Missed Chances But the Tigers could do one better! Matt Tuiasosopo and Pena singled off Locke to start the 5th, then right fielder Travis Snider tossed a cannon home to throw out Tuiasosopo at home plate on Avisail Garcia’s single. Fister then hit a bloop single into left to load the bases. Pena was retired on third baseman Brandon Inge leaping snagging a chopper, then throwing home to record a fielder’s choice. Locke got Andy Dirks to ground out to end the inning. The Tigers hit four straight singles, but did not score any runs. “It was as big as anything that happened tonight,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said about the 5th-inning escape. The Tigers nearly scored off Locke in the 6th. With one out, Prince Fielder singled to left field then Jhonny Peralta walked on five pitches to end Locke’s evening at 96 pitches. Mazzaro entered with what Hurdle calls a “power sinker” to strike out Tuiasosopo and get Pena to ground out. “Coming in I just wanted to keep it low,” Mazzaro said. “Get that two-seamer, keep it down and try to get a double play… get them to roll over.”   Mazzaro got out of more trouble in the 7th. Garcia drew a leadoff walk, was bunted over by Fister, then reached third on Omar Infante’s single to left field. Garcia did not test Starling Marte’s arm, though, and Mazzaro got Dirks to pop out and Cabrera to ground out and keep the game scoreless. The Tigers collected nine hits but zero runs for the first time since July 2011 and stranded 10 runners on base. Locke Strong Again Jeff Locke has allowed only eight runs in his last eight starts. The Pirates’ starter gave up seven hits and one walk, and he struck out only three hitters. But the sharp outing dropped both his season FIP (4.27 to 4.12) and his ERA (2.45 to 2.25). Locke stranded five runners, though, and got 10 ground ball outs to extend his scoreless inning streak to 19.1 straight frames. “The defense is huge,” Locke said. “I’ve been using them all year, and I’ll continue to use them.” At one point in the 4th, Locke threw three straight called strikes on the inside edge to Jhonny Peralta. A frustrated Peralta argued the calls with home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez after the at-bat and was subsequently ejected. “He was giving that pitch to us,” catcher Martin said. “You’ve got to tip your cap to Jeff Locke for executing that same pitch over and over again.” Locke said he feels comfortable painting the corners of the strike zone with Martin behind the plate. “Russ even takes the ones that might be just a little off and brings it back in,” Locke said. Round 11 Knockout The third inning was the only frame in which the Bucs got a runner into scoring position — until the 11th. After Melancon and Morris both pitched 1-2-3 innings, the Bucs finally struck. Walker hit a first-pitch single to right field off reliever Luke Putkonen (in his second inning of work), followed by McCutchen walking on four pitches and Sanchez lining a single into left. Walker had to hesitate with Cabrera standing along the baseline. “One out, it might be a different story,” Walker said. “But nobody out, I think that’s a play every third base coach will make.” Walker stayed put and Martin scored him with the game-winner over the heads of the shifted-in Tigers outfielders, igniting the black-and-gold contingent of 20,834 fans at PNC Park. “It’s the sign of a good team, when we can all chip in and do it together,” Martin said. “When we have a situation or an opportunity, we’re making it happen.” Walker and Martin were the only two Pirates to collect more than one hit. The Pirates snapped their MLB-best streak of 48 straight games with an extra-base hit and left 10 runners on base for the first time since May 17. One run was enough, and as early as the season is, the Bucs now sit five games ahead of the last playoff spot in the National League. Throwing Up Zeros Pittsburgh’s nine shutouts in two months give the 2013 team at the 1992 Pirates’ Retrosheet-era record for most shutouts in a season (20). The 1992 staff is also the only Pirates team to collect more than 15 shutouts since the mounds were lowered in 1969. Can this year’s staff do it? Well, pulling off two extra-inning shutouts against the first-place Tigers gives you a sign. “It’s always good to come out with a series win, especially with a team that is that good,” Morris said. “They’re a good team.”
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

John Madden: Last play of Super Bowl will 'torment' Pete Carroll

Cristiano Ronaldo nets hat trick, sets career high for goals

WATCH: Cormier tells Jones to get his s-- together

Fans holding 'Free Tom Brady Rally' at Gillette Stadium

Josh Hamilton to be activated by Rangers


WATCH: Top CB recruit makes insane catch doing backflip

Biggest surprises of the MLB season

Marcus Mariota leads NFL in jersey sales for May

Report: Scott Skiles frontrunner for Magic coaching job

Shanahan: injuries are not why Robert Griffin III struggles

Kyle Korver ruled out for remainder of playoffs

WATCH: Daniel Cormier gets into it with Ryan Bader

Jim Harbaugh compares his driving to Jeff Gordon's

WATCH: High school seals win with perfect hidden ball trick

Warriors crush Rockets in Houston to take 3-0 series lead

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell whiffs on horrible golf swing

Brian Matusz ejected for having foreign substance on arm

PHOTO: Don Cherry wears wild suit even for his taste

PHOTOS: Gigantic sinkhole at Jack Nicklaus golf course

WATCH: Memphis player catches defense sleeping, scores

WATCH: Astros turn around-the-horn triple play

French Open Women's preview: Who will make the quarters?

WATCH: Bryan Price gets ejected before game starts

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

Marlins players skip own charity event

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.