Gregory Polanco clouted a three-run homer in the top of the 13th inning on Friday as the Pittsburgh Pirates outlasted the Detroit Tigers 13-10 in each team’s season opener at Comerica Park in Detroit.
Adam Frazier and Josh Harrison poked two-out singles off Alex Wilson to start the rally, and Polanco followed with a 416-foot bomb off a 3-0 fastball to provide the winning hit in a game that lasted five hours, 27 minutes.
Steven Brault pitched three scoreless innings to earn the win. The teams combined to use 15 pitchers in a contest that featured 31 hits, 13 walks and five errors.
Detroit forced extra innings by matching Pittsburgh’s four-run ninth with one of its own. McCann hit a two-run double to center off closer Felipe Rivero to cut the lead to 10-8, and Dixon Machado greeted
Josh Smoker with a two-run double to left.
The Tigers thought they won the game in the 10th when JaCoby Jones lined a two-out single to left. Nicholas Castellanos was called safe at the plate, but umpires in New York City tasked with replay reviews reversed the call after a four-minute review. In his debut game with the team, Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected by first base umpire Bill Welke.
The Pirates were down 6-4 after seven, but evened the score with two runs in the eighth and then appeared to take command with their outburst in the ninth. Francisco Cervelli’s RBI single snapped the tie, and he later scored on a passed ball. Josh Bell’s RBI infield single and a throwing error by Machado at second accounted for the fourth run.
Neither starter was around for the decision. Pittsburgh’s Ivan Nova left with a 3-2 lead after five innings, allowing six hits and two runs with three walks and four strikeouts.
Detroit’s Jordan Zimmermann departed after six innings, permitting six hits and four runs with a walk. He fanned eight in an 81-pitch outing, and was taken off the hook by the Tigers’ seventh inning rally.
The game was delayed for 13 minutes in the bottom of the eighth inning after plate umpire and crew chief Mike Everitt was drilled with a pitch in the mask. Second base umpire Tony Randazzo replaced
Everitt and a three-umpire alignment was used for the game’s remainder.
—Field Level Media