DETROIT — The Tigers had this game won, then they didn’t, and then they did again.
Nick Maton hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Tigers beat the San Francisco Giants, 7-5, in the first game of a three-game set at Comerica Park. It was Maton’s third homer of the year, and by far his biggest, allowing the Tigers to put on a show with their new LED lights.
The win is the second in a row for the Tigers.
They took a 4-1 lead in this one — on the back of a big night by Javy Baez, a day after he was benched — only to see it go away on one fateful pitch from reliever Mason Englert. Englert came in with two on and one out in the top of the eighth inning, and on the first pitch he threw, J.D. Davis launched a tying home run to right field, stunning the crowd of 15,289.
Englert bounced back to finish the game, striking out five in 2 2/3 innings, and keeping things tied until extra innings.
Neither team scored in the 10th, and the Giants scored in the top of the 11th.
Joey Wentz (1-2) started for the Tigers, and were terrific after allowing a leadoff homer to Thairo Estrada (who finished a triple shy of the cycle). He struck out a career-high seven in 5 2/3 innings. He didn’t walk a batter until the second-to-last batter he faced on a night when he owned the strike zone. He had the first nine Giants hitters in an 0-2 hole.
Baez, back in the starting lineup, had two hits, including a two-run double, and two walks.
Riley Greene also had a two-out RBI triple, and Spencer Torkelson had a sacrifice fly.
Game 2 of the series is Saturday at 1:10 p.m.