|Pirates, Tigers to play two after rainout|
After what amounted to an extra day off, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers will play a doubleheader starting in the late afternoon Wednesday at PNC Park.
The teams both had a scheduled day off Monday, and Tuesday's series opener was postponed after a rain delay of 1:37 at the start.
Detroit right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (1-0, 7.71 ERA) will square off against Pittsburgh right-hander Jameson Taillon (2-1, 1.86 ERA) in the opener.
In the second game, Pirates right-hander Chad Kuhl (2-1, 4.57 ERA) will oppose Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd (0-1, 1.40 ERA).
Pittsburgh (12-10) has lost four games in a row and is on a 1-6 swoon. It opened the season by sweeping the Tigers in three games in Detroit.
The Tigers (9-11), conversely, are coming off a 5-3 homestand, their first winning record for a stretch of eight or more home games since last June-into-July.
Taillon, in particular, has been looking forward to this start -- not because it's against the Tigers, whom he has never faced, but because of his last outing.
He knew immediately after his last start what he needed to do differently his next time out.
Taillon, 26, started the season like gangbusters and took a 0.89 ERA into his start Thursday at Philadelphia. After a nine-pitch first inning that extended his scoreless stretch to 16 innings, the bottom fell out in the second.
He gave up five runs, four hits, two walks, hit a batter and needed 43 pitches in the second before leaving after just 1 2/3 innings, the shortest outing of his young but promising career. Three RBI hits came on full counts.
"You've got to realize you're always one pitch away, and you've got to make that pitch," Taillon said after what was a 7-0 loss. "So next time I'll look to make that pitch, and I'll look not to put myself in that spot -- three-ball counts, hit-by-pitch with two strikes ... I kind of did it to myself."
Taillon had breezed through his first three starts, including a one-hit shutout with seven strikeouts a 5-0 win over Cincinnati on April 8.
Surprisingly, beyond making his pitches in key spots, he won't be looking to do much different against the Tigers.
"It obviously didn't play well, but overall, it felt about the same," Taillon said of his pitches against the Phillies compared to his first three outings.
In five career appearances against Pittsburgh, Zimmermann is 1-3 with a 4.35 ERA. In three career starts at PNC Park, he is 1-2 with a 3.32 ERA.
Boyd, in the nightcap, will be making his second career start against the Pirates and looking for his first win against them. Last Aug. 8 at PNC Park, he got a loss when he gave up six runs (five of them earned) and nine hits, with one walk and five strikeouts in four innings.
This season, Boyd has had quality starts in each of his three outings, an extension of his strong finish in 2017. Over his past seven starts dating to Sept. 12, he has a 2.00 ERA over 45 innings with 43 strikeouts.
"I just focus on hitting the glove," Boyd said. "I focus on changing speeds. My goal is to hit my spots right now and change speeds on all my pitches -- add and subtract with all my pitches and keep hitters off-balance."
Kuhl is 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA in two career starts against Detroit.