DETROIT (AP) Matt Vierling hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs for a second straight game and the Detroit Tigers pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-0 in the opener of a doubleheader on Wednesday.

Vierling had a game-winning three-run homer in an 14-11 victory over Toronto on Sunday. His homer on Wednesday highlighted a four-run fifth as the Tigers won their fourth straight.

“Just one of those things where you feel good,” Vierling said of his offensive surge. “Just try to ride it out for as long as you can. I've worked really, really hard to pull the ball more and hit the ball in the air a little bit more and try to utilize some exit velo.”

Vierling had three hits, while Riley Greene added two hits and scored two runs.

Tarik Skubal (7-1) bounced back from his only loss this season by holding the Pirates to three singles and a walk in seven innings. Skubal, who struck out eight, retired the last 10 batters he faced. Mason Englert pitched the last two innings to complete the Tigers' fourth shutout this season.

Skubal, who threw 66 of his 93 pitches for strikes, had all but one of his strikeouts during the first four innings.

“Early on, I had a lot of uncompetitive misses at two strikes, so I just (decided to) go right back at guys,” Skubal said. “My first strike percentage was really high and then they started swinging and putting the ball in play, once they kind of realized I was going to be in the zone all day.”

Skubal gave up four runs in five innings against Kansas City in his previous start. Detroit is 8-3 in games he's started.

“I feel like if we get him a lead, it elevates his confidence as well,” Vierling said. “If we get him some runs, I feel like we can put together a pretty good game.”

Pirates starter Jared Jones (3-5) allowed seven runs, five earned, and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. The Pirates committed three errors, leading to three unearned runs.

“I just didn't feel good to start the game, really,” said Jones, a rookie making his 11th start. “I didn't have a really good bullpen. This is the first really bad start I've had since I've been up here.”

Vierling had an RBI single during a three-run first. His fifth-inning homer came off a 1-1 slider from Jones.


Pirates: Left-hander Martin Perez (groin) was placed on the 15-day injured list and catcher Joey Bart (thumb) was placed on the 10-day IL. Third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes was activated from the 10-day IL and catcher Grant Koch had his contract selected from Triple-A Indianapolis.

Tigers: Outfielder Kerry Carpenter (spine) was placed on the 10-day IL and outfielder Akil Baddoo was recalled from Triple-A Toledo. Right-hander Keider Montero was called up from Toledo to start the nightcap.


Pirates: Left-hander Bailey Falter (3-2, 3.55 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game series at Toronto on Friday night.

Tigers: Right-hander Jack Flaherty (1-4, 3.84 ERA) will start the opener of a four-game series at Boston on Thursday night.



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