Marlins rally but lose to Tigers in 11 innings

- Reigning NL batting and stolen base champion Dee Gordon stumbled on the top step of the dugout running onto the field for the opening day pregame ceremony.

That's how the season started for Miami Marlins.

The home team fell behind by five runs and didn't manage a hit until the sixth inning Tuesday night, but a frantic rally sent the game into extra innings before the Marlins lost to the Detroit Tigers, 8-7 in 11 innings.

Ian Kinsler's RBI single in the 11th off Craig Breslow proved the difference.

"It didn't start off very well and it didn't end very well," new Miami manager Don Mattingly said. "But there was a lot of good mixed in there, so I'm happy about that."

Gordon had three extra-base hits and Giancarlo Stanton homered for Miami. But Marlins newcomer Wei-Yin Chen, the most significant offseason addition to their roster, had a rough time in his first opening day start.

The left-hander allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings.

"I didn't pitch as well as I hoped," Chen said through a translator. "I didn't really do my job, allowing a lot of runs, but this is just one game."

Gordon broke up Justin Verlander's no-hit bid with a double in the sixth. By then the Marlins trailed 5-0, and they were behind 7-4 to start the ninth against new Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Martin Prado singled to lead off and J.T. Realmuto hit a one-out double. After left fielder Justin Upton made a running catch on the warning track to rob Adeiny Hechavarria for the second out, pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich and Gordon doubled. Marcell Ozuna then popped out to send the game into extra innings.

"We at least got it to that point," Gordon said. "It looked pretty dismal early on."

Rodriguez was 38 for 40 in save chances with the Brewers last year.

The Tigers hit three homers but went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position before Kinsler put them ahead in the 11th. Detroit also had two runners picked off first base in the final three innings.

Anthony Gose walked to start the 11th against Craig Breslow (0-1) and went to second on a sacrifice. Kinsler followed with a one-out RBI single.

Kinsler hit a three-run homer in the second inning and scored twice. Gose and pinch-hitter Victor Martinez hit back-to-back homers in the ninth off Bryan Morris.

Drew VerHagen (1-0) escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the 10th. Shane Greene pitched a perfect 11th for his first career save.

Verlander blanked Miami for five innings and had a broken-bat single to become the first American League pitcher to get a hit on opening day since Milwaukee's Bill Parsons and Oakland's Ken Holtzman in 1972, according to STATS.

Stanton, who missed the second half of last season with a broken hand, hit a two-run shot off Verlander in the sixth.

The game marked the debut of a cozier Marlins Park, with the fence moved in during the offseason, and the changes might have made the difference on Martinez's homer to center field.

Detroit and Miami were the last clubs to begin their season, and the home team didn't seem ready.

In the second inning, Chen was hit on the left arm by a line drive off Gose's bat. Verlander followed with a single for his third career hit, and Kinsler homered to make it 4-0.

Chen said his arm was fine and he expects to make his next start as scheduled.

TIGERS SUPPORTERS

The game was announced as a sellout, with attendance of 36,911. But there were several thousand empty seats — and a significant number of Tigers fans who were chanting for their team in the first inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Marlins LHP Mike Dunn pitched on opening day in each of his seven previous major league seasons, but he was on the disabled list Tuesday with a strained left forearm. He said he planned to begin playing catch Wednesday and hopes to be activated for the start of the next homestand April 15.

UP NEXT

On Wednesday, Miami will start ace Jose Fernandez, who in his final Marlins Park outing last year became the first pitcher in the modern era to win his first 17 career home decisions.

Anibal Sanchez will start for Detroit against his former team. He went 44-45 for the Marlins from 2006-12.

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