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Williams tosses gem as Pirates shutout Tigers

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Trevor Williams weaved a seven inning gem Monday night in Pittsburgh, combining with the bullpen to throw a one-hitter over the Detroit Tigers in a 3-0 win.

THE BIG STORY: Williams turned in the best start of his major league career Monday night, going seven innings of one-hit ball, striking out five while only allowing two walks.

“We made some great plays tonight,” Williams said, referring to a robbed single by shortstop Sean Rodriguez in the second and a diving catch by Andrew McCutchen in the fifth. “We had some guys in the right spots on certain ground balls.

“It was fun, you know.”

There were plenty of metrics that manager Clint Hurdle thought were subpar, though. He had eight three-ball counts. He only threw a first pitch strike 47.8 percent of the time (11-23). Only six batters were retired on three pitches or less.

It did not matter much.

“It was just old fashioned pitching tonight,” Hurdle said. “Old fashioned, really good pitching tonight.”

Williams said he did not need to deviate from “Plan A” all night.. That plan included plenty of first pitch sliders and two-seamers down in the zone. Out of all the pitches he finished an at-bat with, only two were in the upper half of the strike zone.

“I trust Cervy 100 percent, and it worked out for us,” Williams said.

That trust in his veteran catcher was felt by Cervelli, who gave him a glowing review.

“His concentration level is amazing,” Cervelli said. “He doesn’t say no. He just pitches.”

HOW THEY SCORED

The Pirates struck first when Cervelli doubled home Gregory Polanco in the second.

John Jaso provided an insurance two run home run with two outs in the seventh.

MOMENT THAT MATTERED

With Felipe Rivero not available after throwing 41 pitches Sunday, Jaso’s two run homer provided the bullpen some much needed wiggle room.

TOE THE RUBBER

Williams was replaced by the recently acquired George Kontos, who made his first appearance as a Pirate. He tossed a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one. Juan Nicasio fanned two in the ninth to pick up his second save of the season.

Jordan Zimmermann (7-9) allowed five hits and three runs in seven innings for the Tigers. He walked three and struck out two.

I SPY

Hurdle originally had Adam Frazier in the on-deck circle before Cervelli walked. Once Cervelli got on base, he called Frazier back and sent Jaso to bat instead.

When asked why he made the switch, Hurdle responded with a smile, “Never gonna tell you. I had two reasons, and I’m not telling you.”

LINE OF THE NIGHT

Trevor Williams: W, 7 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 5 K

HE SAID IT

“We’re all human and we make mistakes, so I don’t mind that.”- Jaso on the hanging curveball he hit for a home run.

ON DECK

The Pirates will conclude their half of the home-home series Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.. Chad Kuhl (4-7, 4.53) will oppose Matthew Boyd (5-5, 5.35).

NUMB3RS

1. Polanco was hit by a pitch at home for the first time in his career in the second inning. Monday was his 230th career home game.

2. This was the first Pirates’ one-hit win since April 17, 2013. They beat the St. Louis Cardinals that day 5-0.

3. Jaso has three of the Pirates’ five pinch-hit home runs this season. He entered the year with three career pinch-hit home runs.

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