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Bats Go Silent For Paul Maholm In Finale, Pirates Lose 2-0

The Pirates entered Sunday's series finale against the Detroit Tigers on a four-game winning streak thanks to strong starting pitching and plenty of offense. With Paul Maholm on the mound, though, the run support disappeared and the Bucs were denied a sweep by manager Jim Leyland's squad in a 2-0 shutout loss.

Detroit's Rick Porcello conceded just one hit on the afternoon, besting Maholm, who allowed only two runs on six hits in 5.1 innings. The loss dropped Maholm's record to a dismal 1-7. He's now received just 14 runs of support in his 10 starts.

The bullpen had a nice day in the loss, too, but was also victimized by the lack of offense. Chris Resop, Daniel McCutchen, Jose Ascanio and Joe Beimel combined to throw 3.2 shutout innings to keep Detroit off the board following Maholm's departure. McCutchen had four strikeouts in his 2.0 innings of work. The bats simply couldn't get anything going, though.

"We did everything we could as a staff to minimize the damage." manager Clint Hurdle said in his post-game press conference. "Not a whole lot of offense going on for us."

Only the hot-hitting Ronny Cedeno managed a hit for the Bucs against Porcello. The Pirates attempted to mount a comeback in the ninth against Tiger closer Jose Valverde after Xavier Paul led off the inning with a single and Andrew McCutchen was hit by a pitch. However, Ryan Doumit struck out and both Garrett Jones and Neil Walker grounded out to end the threat.

Pittsburgh will now prepare to host the Atlanta Braves in a two game set beginning Tuesday at PNC Park. Charlie Morton and James McDonald will look to keep the team's streak of hot starting pitching intact as the Pirates get back into their National League schedule. 

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.