- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Vance Worley’s impressive stretch since the All-Star break came to an abrupt end.

Worley allowed a pair of home runs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Detroit Tigers 8-4 on Wednesday night, wasting a 4-1 lead in the process. The Pirates remain 1 1/2 games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.

Worley allowed five runs - three earned - and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings.

“He went out there and battled tonight. Wasn’t a sharp night for him,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Still, I think of the three runs they scored in the fifth, they wouldn’t have scored them if we would have handled the ball better.”

Victor Martinez had three hits, and Nick Castellanos homered and tripled to lead the Tigers, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Detroit is suddenly facing adversity amid mounting injuries. The Tigers had to send Buck Farmer to the mound to make his major league debut, and he allowed four runs in five innings.

Blaine Hardy (2-1) followed with two scoreless innings of relief, lowering his ERA to 2.05. He’s been a rare bright spot in a bullpen that’s been unreliable.

“He’s done an excellent job, really,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “He’s not strictly a lefty-lefty guy. He’s got the ability to get right-handed hitters out, which gives me a lot of flexibility in the middle innings.”

Castellanos put Detroit ahead 5-4 with a solo homer off Worley (5-2) in the sixth. Martinez added a two-run single in the seventh.

The game was tied at 1 in the fourth when Pittsburgh’s Jordy Mercer hit an RBI triple and Travis Snider followed with a two-run homer. The Tigers tied it with three runs in the fifth.

Alex Avila led off with a homer to make it 4-2, and after a single by Eugenio Suarez, Ezequiel Carrera hit a grounder to second. Jayson Nix tried to make a tough throw to second to get the lead runner, but his throw was poor, and the error helped Detroit to a big inning. Miguel Cabrera eventually hit a sacrifice fly, and Martinez tied it with a two-out RBI single.

Castellanos hit his ninth homer of the year with one out in the sixth.

“I think the pitches that hurt were the home runs,” Worley said. “Couple of guys who I got behind - had to throw good pitches.”

Worley had been 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA since the All-Star break.

OUTFIELD PROBLEMS

Pittsburgh center fielder Starling Marte made a diving attempt on Castellanos’ hit in the second, and the ball got past him for a triple. Right fielder Gregory Polanco couldn’t handle Torii Hunter’s double in the fourth, and Polanco’s long run to right-center in the seventh was for naught when he was unable to make the catch on Carrera’s drive, which went for a triple.

Story Continues →