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.
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.