Detroit, MI – Neil Walker's homer in the 11th inning lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
After Starling Marte opened the inning with a ground out, Walker jumped on a first-pitch slider from Jose Ortega (0-2) and clobbered it over the fence in right field.
"Sometimes you get into these games and you're wondering what kind of run is going to win it, and sometimes that's the one that wins is somebody who happened to hit the ball over the fence," Walker said.
Jason Grilli struck out the side in the home half to pick up his 21st save of the season.
Pittsburgh starter Jeanmar Gomez and Detroit hurler Rick Porcello dueled throughout the contest. Gomez scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings, while Porcello surrendered three hits and struck out a career-high 11 batters over eight frames.
Mark Melancon (1-0) stranded a pair of runners in the 10th to earn the win.
Both sides wasted opportunities to score late in the game before Walker's go- ahead blast.
In the eighth inning, Omar Infante reached on shortstop Clint Barmes' throwing error, and quickly moved to second. Pirates reliever Justin Wilson was able to get Brayan Pena to ground out before fanning Andy Dirks to end the frame.
Walker singled in the ninth and quickly stole second, but Garrett Jones flew out to center to end the threat.
Prince Fielder ripped a two-out base hit in the home half and Victor Martinez drove one to deep left field, but the ball died on the warning track and the game headed to extras.
Russell Martin laced a leadoff single in the 10th before moving to second on Josh Harrison's sacrifice bunt. After Gaby Sanchez was caught looking, Ortega intentionally walked Travis Snider to put two on with two outs before inducing Jordy Mercer's inning-ending fly out.
Detroit put a pair on in the bottom half with one out, but Melancon was able to work out of the jam.
"We didn't do much (offensively) all night. Both starting pitchers were terrific," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
The game's start was delayed 1 hour and 13 minutes due to rain ... Walker has three homers this season ... Grilli leads the majors with 21 saves ... When Pittsburgh's starter goes at least six innings, the Pirates are 18-8 ... Detroit's Jhonny Peralta extended his hitting streak to nine games ... The Tigers stranded seven runners on base ... Porcello hadn't gone eight innings since July 21, 2012.