DETROIT- James McCann has hit only two homers in the major leagues. But he’s connected with style.
The rookie catcher had an inside-the-park homer last month. His second shot came Thursday — a leadoff drive in the bottom of the 11th inning that lifted the Detroit Tigers over the Houston Astros 6-5.
“I’m not sure what I’m going to do for an encore,” McCann said. “I’m hoping to play long enough up here to hit a bunch of normal homers, too.”
McCann hit Tony Sipp’s splitter into the Tigers bullpen, just beyond the reach of leaping left fielder Colby Rasmus.
“He threw me the same pitch on 0-1, and I swung at it in the dirt,” McCann said. “On 0-2, I wanted to make sure to get something in the zone, and he left it up a little.”
Alex Wilson (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.
Detroit led 5-0 after six innings. But pinch-hitter Preston Tucker of the Astros tied it with one out in the ninth, connecting off Joakim Soria.
“That was great,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “To see a kid come off the bench and get his first [career] homer in a huge spot to tie the game against a closer who is having a great year.”
Tigers starter David Price allowed three runs — two earned — while striking out 12 in 6⅔ innings.
Houston starter Scott Feldman gave up five runs on 10 hits and a walk in six innings.
“It is never easy out there, no matter how the first six innings looked, and I didn’t feel any different in the seventh [when the Astros scored three runs],” Price said. “Those guys on the other side are professionals, too.”
“That was a big, big comeback by our guys,” Hinch said. “This is a tough one to lose, just because of how we did come back.”