Neil Walker homered in the top of the 11th inning for the game’s only run, and Jason Grilli struck out all three batters he faced in the bottom of the frame, and the Pittsburgh Pirates (32-20) defeated the Tigers 1-0 in a rain-delayed Tuesday night game at Comerica Park in Detroit.
Walker’s homer made a loser of Detroit reliever Jose Ortega (0-2). Grilli fanned Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in order for his Major League-leading 21st save. The win went to Mark Melancon (1-0; 0.96 ERA), who pitched the 10th inning. Pirates starter Jeanmar Gomez pitched seven innings of scoreless, three-hit baseball, and Justin Wilson worked two innings of one-hit relief.
Walker recorded three of the Bucs’ six hits, while 14 Pittsburgh batters struck out. The Tigers (29-21) managed only five hits. Detroit starter Rick Porcello struck out 11 batters, and allowed only three hits in his eight innings of work.
The start of the game was delayed by rain for one hour and 13 minutes. The Bucs have won 14 of their last 18 ballgames.
After two games in Detroit, the interleague series between the Pirates and the Tigers moves to PNC Park in Pittsburgh for games three and four on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The Bucs’ A.J. Burnett (3-5; 2.57 ERA) will face Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez (5-4; 2.38 ERA) in Thursday’s contest.