Finally given some protection in the lineup, Jose Bautista homers in first at-bat

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Jose Bautista, who went four straight at-bats Sunday without homering, got back in the swing of things Monday, taking Bartolo Colon deep in the first inning against the Yankees.

Bautista now has 18 1/2 homers this season.  We’re giving the other half of this one to Yunel Escobar, who had Colon shaking on the mound with his presence in the on-deck circle (though it might have been jiggling, we’re honestly not sure).

That’s because manager John Farrell made a switch today, dropping Escobar from the top of the lineup to fourth as a replacement for Aaron Hill.

Rajai Davis (.298 OBP) and Corey Patterson (.307 OBP) both made outs ahead of Bautista, so the homer was a solo shot.  But that’s a small price to pay.  It’s not like Bautista is ever going to see anything to hit if there’s guys on base for him.

Escobar (.363 OBP) went on to single with the bases empty and two outs before being stranded.

Video: Corey Dickerson breaks scoreless tie with walk-off home run

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Neither the Pirates nor the Tigers could manage any offense during Thursday afternoon’s game at PNC Park. That is, until outfielder Corey Dickerson launched a walk-off solo home run off of Alex Wilson with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Dickerson, 28, has been solid for the Pirates for the first month of the season. He’s batting .314/.348/.500 with a pair of home runs, 13 RBI, and 13 runs scored in 92 plate appearances. The Pirates acquired him from the Rays in late February in exchange for journeyman pitcher Daniel Hudson and Single-A infielder Tristan Gray.