Wilson Ramos may not have gotten a grand slam on Tuesday night, but Andrew McCutchen did. The Pirates’ outfielder had come to the plate with the bases loaded 97 times over the course of his nine-year career and never hit the coveted four-run homer.
The Pirates loaded the bases with two outs against Orioles starter Kevin Gausman to bring McCutchen to the plate. After working the count 2-1, McCutchen drove a 95 MPH fastball out to center field for his first career grand slam, extending his team’s lead to 6-0.
McCutchen later hit a three-run home run to right field. He has boosted his slash line to .278/.362/.487 along with 28 home runs, 87 RBI, 92 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases in 635 plate appearances.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”
Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.
Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.