DENVER | Zach McKinstry hit a tie-breaking, three-run homer in the 10th inning, lifting the Detroit Tigers past the Colorado Rockies 4-2 Saturday night.
With Jonathan Schoop at second as the automatic runner, Eric Haase singled off Pierce Johnson (1-4) to put runners at the corners. McKinstry followed with his sixth homer, a 400-foot drive over the right-center fence and into the Rockies bullpen.
Even though McKinstry had fanned in the ninth inning against Johnson the night before — Johnson got the save in Colorado’s 9-8 win Friday — he said he benefited from the at-bat because he got a look at Johnson’s pitching repertoire.
“I saw his curveballs pretty well (Friday night), and got a called third strike in a tough at bat, but I felt good against him today,” McKinstry said. “I was like, ‘I’m ready. Let’s go.’ I was sitting hard, and got a fastball, got a good one to hit and I hit it pretty well.”
Kris Bryant hit a two-out RBI single in the bottom half off Alex Lange (5-2), who struck out Ryan McMahon to seal Detroit’s 21st come-from-behind win this year and deal the Rockies their first loss in three extra-inning games this season.
“Lange hung in there,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “A two-inning stint is not his norm, but we really needed it and he delivered.”
Before a sellout crowd of 48,108 at Coors Field, six Tigers combined on a six-hitter as both teams went with bullpen games.
“That was a well-pitched game by both sides,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “It came down to a couple of pitches. They got us and we had them in jeopardy but. They got the big hit by McKinstry.” Pete Lambert became the Rockies’ 13th starter this season, allowing two hits in three scoreless innings of his first big league start since Sept. 29, 2021, against Washington.
Detroit’s Brendan White, a 24-year-old right-hander, made his first big league start after seven relief appearances and allowed one hit in 1 1/3 innings. Zach Logue, a 27-year-old left-hander, followed in his Tigers debut and gave up one hit in 3 1/3 innings.
Colorado’s Ezequiel Tovar hit a two-out RBI single in the sixth off José Cisnero that extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games.
Schoop hit a run-scoring single in the seventh against Jake Bird that drove in Jake Marisnick, who pinch ran after Miguel Cabrera singled for his 3,124th hit.
Tigers: OF Riley Greene will head to a rehab assignment at Triple-A Toledo. “We’re inching towards getting him ready to go,” manager A.J. Hinch said. Greene missed all of June because of a stress reaction in his left fibula.
Rockies: 2B Brendan Rodgers, a 2022 NL Gold Glover sidelined since spring training by a left shoulder injury, took batting practice and fielded grounders. Rodgers is slated to go to the team’s Arizona spring training facility next week as he ramps up his baseball activities in anticipation of returning to the Rockies well before the end of the season. “The medical staff has been impressed with his progress,” manager Bud Black said. “His surgeon in New York is very impressed with where he is strength-wise, mobility-wise, all the things you look for. He’s in a good place.”
Detroit RHP Matt Manning (1-1, 4.15 ERA) and Colorado RHP Connor Seabold (1-4, 5.98 ERA) are to start Sunday’s series finale.