DETROIT -- Neil Walker hit his third homer of the season in the 11th inning, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on Tuesday.
Walker's one-out homer into the right-field stands against reliever Jose Ortega (0-2) came on the first pitch. Mark Melancon (1-0) pitched one inning to get the victory and ex-Tiger Jason Grilli notched his 21st save by striking out the side.
Detroit starter Rick Porcello had a career-high 11 strikeouts in eight innings. Porcello's previous career high was eight strikeouts, which he reached three times, most recently on July 29, 2010 against Tampa Bay. The Tigers' 43-game streak with at least one extra-base hit ended.
Pirates starter Jeanmar Gomez pitched seven innings, giving up three hits and striking out two.
Pittsburgh finally got a runner in scoring position in the eighth inning when Pedro Alvarez singled and Travis Snider drew a one-out walk. Porcello wiggled out of the jam when Clint Barmes bounced into a double play.
Detroit got its first runner in scoring position during the bottom of the inning against reliever Justin Wilson when Barmes, the Pittsburgh shortstop, bounced a throw past first baseman Gaby Sanchez and into the stands. That allowed Omar Infante to reach second but Wilson then got Brayan Pena to ground out and Andy Dirks to strike out, ending the threat.
Walker reached third in the ninth on a single, stolen base and error but was left stranded when Garrett Jones flied out against reliever Joaquin Benoit. Victor Martinez nearly ended the game in the bottom of the ninth but his long fly ball was caught by left fielder Starling Marte just in front of the wall.
The game was delayed one hour and 13 minutes by rain.
Both offenses were stymied during the first five innings as neither managed to get a runner in scoring position. Porcello struck out the side in the second inning and gave up just two hits, and Gomez scattered three singles.
NOTES: The teams continue their unusual home-and-home series with games in Pittsburgh on Wednesday and Thursday. Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez, who had a no-hitter broken up in the ninth inning by Minnesota's Joe Mauer on Friday, will oppose A.J. Burnett in the opener. ... Pirates manager Clint Hurdle attended Monday night's NHL Western Conference semifinal game between Chicago and Detroit at Joe Louis Arena. The Blackhawks won 4-3 to force a deciding Game 7 on Wednesday. "We had a blast," he said. "It's tough to beat Stanley Cup playoff hockey, and there's not a better venue than Joe Louis." ... Detroit entered the game with an 85-47 record (.644 winning percentage) in interleague games since 2006, second best to Boston (85-42, .669). ... Tigers pitchers lead the majors with 484 strikeouts, an average of 9.71 per nine innings. ... The Pirates' Pedro Alvarez has 10 homers since April 18, tops among National League hitters during that span.