By Dave Hart

Pirates 7, Tigers 4- The Pittsburgh Pirates opened the two-game series in Detroit with a win over the Tigers on Monday afternoon.

The Pirates offense exploded for seven runs on 17 hits with Francisco Cervelli and Gregory Polanco leading the way with three a piece.

Pittsburgh’s Jordy Mercer chipped in with two RBIs, while Polanco, John Jason and Matt Joyce each doubled and knocked in a run.

The Tigers were led by J.D. Martinez and Nick Castellanos with a solo home run each while Victor Martinez had an RBI.

Detroit’s starting pitcher Justin Verlander struggled, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in four and a third innings.

The Tigers’ catcher James McCann left the game with a sprained right ankle.

Detroit will look to even the two-game series win a victory Tuesday afternoon against the Pirates.

Record: 3-2

3rd Place in AL Central Division (1 game behind Kansas City)

Tied with NY Yankees for last playoff spot

Magic # to clinch a playoff spot: 158

Magic # to clinch an AL Central Division title: 159

Next Game: 04/12/2016 vs Pittsburgh Pirates 1:10 p.m. @ Comerica Park

Hitting stats: J.D. Martinez HR (1) RBI (1), Nick Castellanos HR (1) RBI (3), Victor Martinez RBI (4).

Pitching stats: Justin Verlander L (0-1) 4.1 IP 10 H 7 R 7 ER 2 BB 2 K.