The Pirates opened the three-game series with a 10-1 victory over the Tigers on Friday night. It was a rare interleague victory for Pittsburgh, which owned the worst interleague mark in the majors heading into Friday at 73-123.
With the win the Pirates snapped a three-game slide against the Tigers and now own a 7-6 edge over Detroit at Pittsburgh.
On Friday, Lyle Overbay belted a solo home run that started a six-run sixth inning for Pittsburgh, which did not look back from that point on.
Neil Walker drove in career-high five runs that included a three-run homer for the Pirates, who have won three straight. Garrett Jones brought in two runs in the win.
Pittsburgh starter Jeff Karstens (3-2) threw six solid innings, surrendering just one run on three hits and walked none.
Ramon Santiago's home run was the only offense for Detroit, which has dropped four straight since reeling off seven consecutive wins.
Tigers starter Brad Penny (4-4) had a three-start win streak snapped, allowing five runs on six hits and five walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Justin Verlander is the clear cut ace of the Detroit staff, but Max Scherzer has proven to be a very dangerous second option, and the 26-year-old will take the hill this evening looking to move to 7-0 on this young season.
Scherzer did not land a decision the last time he toed the rubber, but the hard-throwing right-hander was still effective. Scherzer allowed just one run, which was unearned, through seven innings. He only struck out two batters, which was his lowest total on the year, but he also lowered his ERA to an impressive 2.81 on the season.
If there is one knock on Scherzer's hot start it would be his performance on the road. In four games away from Comerica Park the right-hander is 3-0, but the record is misleading considering he possesses a 5.96 earned run average in those appearances. In 22 2/3 innings as the visitor Scherzer has allowed 15 runs on 26 hits and has also surrendered all eight of his home runs in opposing ball parks.
This will be the fourth career appearance for Scherzer against Pittsburgh and the third start. The right-hander might be 1-0 against the Pirates, but he has allowed six runs on 15 hits in just 14 2/3 innings of work.
After a surprising start to the season Kevin Correia seems to have returned to form, and that is a pitcher with a career record below .500 and a 4.52 earned run average.
Since winning five of his first eight starts, the veteran right-hander has dropped back-to-back outings, and has done so in ugly fashion, allowing 11 runs -- 10 earned -- on 18 hits in just 10 1/3 innings of duty.
The last time Correia toed the rubber the right-hander had his shortest outing of the season, lasting just four innings in a loss to Milwaukee. Correia was no match for the heavy hitting Brewers lineup, as he was tattooed for six runs on eight hits.
This will be the first-ever start for Correia against the Tigers, and it will come at home where the savvy veteran has been dreadful. In four starts at PNC Park the right-hander has surrendered 16 runs on 26 hits in 18 innings of work.