The Tigers and Pirates played a tense game on Friday afternoon, one that eventually fell 13-10 in the Pirates’ favor following two four-run, ninth-inning rallies, an alarming injury to home plate umpire Mike Everitt, and Gregory Polanco‘s game-winning, three-run shot in the 13th. The real drama unfolded in the 10th inning, however. With the score knotted 10-10 and Nicholas Castellanos standing on second base, JaCoby Jones bounced a two-out single into left field. Castellanos charged toward home plate as left fielder Corey Dickerson fired the ball to catcher Francisco Cervelli. The tag was applied too late, Castellanos slid safely across the plate, and the Tigers swarmed the field to celebrate their first win of the year.
Or so they thought. Almost four minutes later, the Pirates’ challenge and subsequent replay review revealed that Cervelli had caught Castellanos just as he crossed the plate, nullifying the game-winning single, ending the inning and sending the game to the 11th. (And inspiring Ron Gardenhire’s first ejection since 2014.)
The game wouldn’t break in the Tigers’ favor again. The 11th and 12th passed uneventfully, and the Pirates took the lead again in the 13th following back-to-back singles from Adam Frazier and Josh Harrison and a 416-foot moonshot off the bat of Polanco. JaCoby Jones and James McCann eked out a pair of base hits in the bottom of the inning, but were left stranded after Pittsburgh’s Steven Brault whiffed Mikie Mahtook and Jose Iglesias to end the game.
The Tigers and Pirates will meet on Saturday for the second game in this series. Michael Fulmer and Trevor Williams are expected to take the mound and pitch a dual no-hitter, as a cumulative 13 relievers were expended during Friday’s five-hour, 27-minute affair.