Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Ian Kinsler singled home Austin Jackson for the winning run to lift the Tigers to their second straight walk-off win, as Detroit downed Kansas City, 2-1, in 10 innings at Comerica Park.
Kinsler accounted for all of the offense. He homered earlier in the game, and finished 3-for-5 for Detroit, which also came away with a walk-off win in the season-opener against the Royals on Monday.
With Kansas City reliever Tim Collins (0-1) on the hill to start the bottom of the 10th, Jackson started the frame with a walk and moved to second on an Alex Avila sacrifice bunt. After a walk and an Alex Gonzalez pop out to short, Kinsler drove a 1-1 pitch into the gap in left-center to score the winning run.
"You put yourself behind the 8-ball when you walk the leadoff guy and that's exactly what happened," said Royals manager Ned Yost.
Kinsler, who went 0-for-4 in the opener, is in his first season with the Tigers. He has started the game's scoring with a fourth-inning solo homer, which was his first hit with the Tigers.
Detroit starting pitcher Max Scherzer missed out on the win after eight strong innings. The right-hander allowed just four hits, struck out seven and walked one only to see closer Joe Nathan blow the lead in the ninth.
After failing to get any offense against Scherzer, Omar Infante began the ninth-inning rally with a one-out single off Nathan. Pinch-runner Pedro Ciriaco then stole second and after Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler each worked walks to load the bases, Ciriaco scored on Alex Gordon's sac fly to deep left. Nathan recovered to get Brett Hayes to ground out to end the inning.
Kansas City had a chance to mount some offense in the 10th against reliever Al Alburquerque (1-0), but a replay overturn changed that. With two outs, Nori Aoki was ruled safe on a dribbler back to the pitcher, putting runners on the corners with two outs. However, the new replay system overturned that call and ended the inning.
Thanks to Nathan's blown save, Kansas City starting pitcher Jason Vargas avoided the tough-luck loss. The left-hander allowed just one run on five hits, striking out six and walking one, in seven innings of work.
The Royals had a chance to get to Scherzer early on, but failed to capitalize.
With runners on the corners and one out in the first inning, Kansas City's Butler bailed out Scherzer when he swung at a 3-0 pitch and grounded into an inning-ending double play.
"I felt like I needed to be aggressive. After that first inning I was able to do that," said Scherzer. "I didn't have it mentality-wise in that first inning, but I was able to find it after that."
After that, the right-hander settled in and struck out seven over the next seven innings. He didn't run into trouble again until allowing a lead-off double to Salvador Perez in the eighth. However, Scherzer struck out Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain before getting Alcides Escobar to fly out to right to end the inning.
Vargas also had little trouble over the early innings, allowing only one walk until Kinsler broke up the string with a lead-off homer in the fourth.
The lefty then got out of trouble in the sixth. With runners on the corners and one out, Vargas got Miguel Cabrera to ground into a fielder's choice, forcing out Alex Gonzalez at the plate for the second out. He then struck out Victor Martinez to end the inning.
The Tigers won the opener on Monday, 4-3 ... Kinsler's HR was his first of the season. It was also his first hit of the campaign ... Detroit manager Brad Ausmus won a pair of replay challenges.