DETROIT (AP) – Gregory Polanco hit a three-run homer in the 13th inning to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 13-10 victory over Detroit on Friday – about an hour after the Tigers spilled onto the field to celebrate what they thought was a game-winning hit of their own.
Nicholas Castellanos was initially called safe at home in the bottom of the 10th for the Tigers, but a replay review took the run away and the teams played on. Polanco’s drive to right-center on a 3-0 pitch from Alex Wilson (0-1) finally gave the Pirates a comfortable lead – or as comfortable as could be on a wacky day in which both teams scored four runs in the ninth.
Detroit put two men on base in the 13th, but Steven Brault (1-0) was able to hold on and finish his third scoreless inning of relief.
By the time the 5-hour, 27-minute game was over, there were only three umpires and one manager left. Plate umpire Mike Everitt exited in the eighth with a concussion after being hit in the mask by a pitch. And Ron Gardenhire – in his first game as Tigers manager – was ejected after the overturned call in the 10th.
Detroit’s franchise-record streak of six straight wins in season openers was snapped.
This game was pushed back a day after it was postponed because of rain Thursday. The temperature was 36 degrees at the start.
The Tigers had the bases loaded and nobody out in the first and fifth but failed to score. They took a 2-0 lead in the second when Mikie Mahtook, Jose Iglesias and Dixon Machado led off with consecutive doubles.
Francisco Cervelli’s double highlighted a three-run fourth for Pittsburgh, and Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run double in a four-run seventh for the Tigers. The Pirates scored twice in the eighth to tie it at 6.
Starling Marte’s triple started a four-run ninth for Pittsburgh, but closer Felipe Rivero couldn’t finish the Tigers off in the bottom half. He allowed a two-run double to James McCann and was eventually pulled. Then Machado hit a two-run double off Josh Smoker with two outs to make it 10-all.
JaCoby Jones hit the single that briefly appeared to have scored Castellanos, but the play at the plate was close after a throw by left fielder Corey Dickerson. The Tigers celebrated for a bit, then stopped and waited in front of their own dugout while the call was reviewed.
Pirates: Pittsburgh began the season with RHPs Nick Burdi (elbow surgery) and A.J. Schugel (shoulder discomfort) on the disabled list.
Tigers: RHPs Mike Fiers (lumbar strain) and Johnny Barbato (forearm strain) started the season on the DL. … Mahtook’s face appeared to scrape across the dirt on an awkward headfirst slide on his second-inning double, but he came up laughing and seemed fine.
Detroit RHP Michael Fulmer (10-12, 3.83 ERA last season) starts Saturday against RHP Trevor Williams (7-9, 4.07). Last August, Williams allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings in a victory over the Tigers.
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