Detroit’s Daniel Norris, a product of Science Hill High School in Johnson City, put together his best start in nearly a month, giving up only Josh’s Bell’s home run to center in the second and Jung Ho Kang’s RBI triple in the sixth. Norris struck out four and walked one and was in line to pick up his first victory since May 12 before the bullpen let it slip away in the seventh.
Detroit rallied past Pittsburgh to win 5-4 when Nicholas Castellanos trotted home when a potential double play in the eighth turned into an RBI fielder’s choice thanks to some indecisiveness by Pittsburgh second baseman Adam Frazier.
Pirates starter Mitch Keller — who’d been lit up for 12 runs across seven innings in his first two career starts — took a modest step forward in his third start of the season.
The team’s top-ranked prospect and a former pitcher for the Appalachian League's Bristol Pirates allowed four runs (two earned) in five innings with two walks and six strikeouts. His outing might have been cleaner if not for a sloppy fourth inning, when his throwing error to first on a sacrifice bunt by Harold Castro and Kang’s inability to come up with a sharp grounder by John Hicks allowed the Tigers to take a 4-2 lead.
“Definitely better than the first two,” Keller said. “Felt like I had more command of everything tonight. Just mixing well and limiting damage when there were runners on base. That was huge.”