Trevor Williams had an impressive start on Monday night. The Pittsburgh Pirates called on the pitcher to start their series opener at home against the Detroit Tigers. The Pirates are still in contention in the NL Central, so there was no room for errors. Williams didn't commit any, holding steady all night long to set his team up for the victory. Jordan Zimmerman pitched well for the Tigers; Williams was just a little bit better.

Williams looks like an ace

Williams was calm, cool, and collected throughout the evening, never getting into too much trouble.

He was dealing right from the start, retiring the first six batters he faced. Catcher James McCann finally broke through with a single to start the third inning. McCann then stole second, sparking fears of a potential run against the Pirates. But Williams ended the threat and wouldn't let another one emerge again all night long.

The Pirates starter had never thrown more pitches in his career than he did on Monday night, tossing 107 pitches - 62 of them strikes. He struck out five batters while walking just two. The 25-year old also lowered his ERA to 4.17, down from the 4.47 mark it was at after his previous start. Having given up at least three hits in every start he has made over the course of his career, this was easily the best Williams has ever pitched.

Pirates win in a shutout

With Williams doing most of the heavy lifting for the evening, the Pirates were able to follow their starter's lead en route to a 3-0 victory. John Jaso hit a two-run homer off Zimmerman in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Pirates some breathing room. George Kontos pitched a quick eighth inning in his debut after coming over from the San Francisco Giants, while Juan Nicasio closed out the game in the ninth inning during his second straight appearance.

The victory - just Williams' fifth of the season - edged Pittsburgh a little bit closer in the NL Central race. They are now four games behind the Chicago Cubs for first place, while still trailing both the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. They are five games back in the loss column, however, which is what will really matter when the season comes to an end.

A series against the surprisingly moribund Tigers could give them a jolt for the rest of the season, along with the acquisitions of Kontos and fan favorite Sean Rodriguez over the weekend. Chad Kuhl will take the mound for the Pirates on Tuesday night.