Coming off a hitless night, Bryan Reynolds told teammate Corey Dickerson he felt pressure to produce. Dickerson told the rookie to write a few things down to help him remember what he was doing, and what he was thinking, when he was hot.
Dickerson wasn’t sure if Reynolds took his advice, but the rookie turned it around on Wednesday night.
Reynolds had three hits, including a three-run homer in the sixth inning to complete the Pirates’ rally from a six-run deficit, and Pittsburgh beat the Detroit Tigers 8-7.
“He’s so simple,” Dickerson said. “He has a simple approach. When you’re simple like that, you’re going to have good contact.”
With the Pirates trailing 7-5, Reynolds sent a knuckle curve from Nick Ramirez (3-2) 421 feet to left-center for his sixth homer of the season, driving in Kevin Newman and Adam Frazier.
Felipe Vázquez retired the side in order in the ninth for his 17th save.
The Pirates trailed 7-1 after Detroit scored five times before recording an out in the third. Brandon Dixon took Trevor Williams deep for his eighth homer of the season, and Harold Castro followed with his first in the majors. It was the fourth time this season the Tigers have hit back-to-back home runs.
“We kind of got shut down,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We hit a few balls hard on the nose, but really got shut down. Momentum started changing a little bit.”
Dickerson cut it to 7-3 on a two-run double in the bottom of the third, and Starling Marte made it 7-5 with a two-run blast, his 11th, in the fifth.
“A couple big swings, one from Marte and one from Reynolds,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “Dickerson, a two-RBI swing to get us back in it when we were down 7-1. There were three big swings that plated seven runs.”
Richard Rodriguez (2-3) worked a scoreless sixth for Pittsburgh after Williams gave up seven runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts in the first five innings. Williams came off the 10-day injured list to make his first start in more than a month after suffering a right side strain.
“I’m just thankful to be back out there, thankful to be coming off the mound healthy today,” Williams said. “I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about our team too.”
Ramirez allowed five runs on six hits in 1 1/3 innings in relief of Jordan Zimmermann, who also came off the 10-day injured list Wednesday. Zimmermann gave up three runs on five hits in four innings after last pitching April 25 because of a UCL sprain.
“I’d like to go five innings and be out there as long as I can,” Zimmermann said. “Threw a lot of good pitches that they fouled off. It was just one of those games that was a grind.”
Newman’s double in the sixth extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Tigers: OF Victor Reyes was optioned to Triple-A Toledo after Detroit’s 5-4 win Tuesday. He had been recalled from Toledo earlier that day and walked in a pinch-hit appearance.
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday. In his three starts with Pittsburgh, Keller is 0-1 with a 10.50 ERA. … RHP Jordan Lyles will make a rehab start Sunday with a farm club to be determined, Hurdle said. He has not pitched since June 8 because of tightness in his left hamstring. … A neurologist will examine C Francisco Cervelli on Tuesday. Cervelli has been out with a concussion since May 25.
Tigers: LHP Matthew Boyd (5-5, 3.35 ERA) will look for his first win since May 28 when he takes the mound against Cleveland on Friday. He gave up five runs, four earned, in four innings against Kansas City on June 13.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (4-7, 4.87) will attempt to rebound against San Diego on Friday after surrendering six runs on nine hits to Atlanta in four innings his last time out on June 13. Musgrove was ejected with two outs in the first inning of his previous start after grazing Josh Donaldson with a pitch.
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