- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Clint Hurdle did his best to ignore the doubters when the Pittsburgh Pirates took a $5 million flier on Edinson Volquez.

“That’s why they call it noise,” Hurdle said.

Funny, it’s quiet now.

The resurgent right-hander continued his career resurrection on Tuesday night, limiting the Detroit Tigers for six effective innings in a 4-2 victory. Volquez (10-7) allowed two runs on five hits, striking out five against two walks. His best play, however, wasn’t a pitch but a slick behind-the-back grab of a chopper by Victor Martinez in the first inning that kept the Tigers from extending an early 1-0 lead.

“The ball got me,” Volquez said. “I got lucky on that one.”

Maybe, but Volquez isn’t ruling out karma either.

There were times over the last five years when that ball would find its way to centerfield and Volquez would crumble. Not this time. The former All-Star turned reclamation project has been one of the few constants in a pitching rotation that’s seen top end starters Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole spend significant time on the disabled list.

“He’s been fun to watch,” Hurdle said. “From the time we got him he showed up wanting to get better and wanting to learn.”

Travis Snider went 2 for 4 with an RBI for the Pirates. Gaby Sanchez and Ike Davis added RBI doubles and Jordy Mercer chipped in a run-scoring single. Mark Melancon worked out of a two-on, one-out jam for his 22nd save as Pittsburgh improved to 5-3 without star centerfielder Andrew McCutchen, who is on the disabled list with a rib injury.

Alex Avila hit his ninth homer of the season for Detroit.

Robbie Ray (1-2) gave up four runs in five-plus innings while making a spot start for the weary Tigers. Detroit has lost six of seven as it battles surging Kansas City for the lead in the AL Central.

“We’ve got to make our own opportunities,” Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. “We’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities and we’re not doing that.”

Detroit’s best chance came in the first.

Ian Kinsler drove home Ezequiel Carrera with an RBI-single in the first and Miguel Cabrera followed with a single to put runners at the corners. Martinez smashed a grounder up the middle that Volquez somehow grabbed with his glove while reaching behind his back. Kinsler was tagged out in a rundown between third and home and the big inning was avoided.

It was the only reprieve Volquez needed.

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