Detroit Tigers win opener in dramatic fashion, down Chicago White Sox

Detroit — The smile did not leave Robbie Grossman’s face.

“You know this team,” he said. “We’re never going to give up. It’s going to be a real fun summer.”

It is certainly off to a bang-up start.

In front of a sold-out Opening Day crowd (43,480) at Comerica Park, the Tigers rallied from behind twice in the final two innings, beating the defending Central Division champion Chicago White Sox 5-4 Friday afternoon.

Tigers manager AJ Hinch celebrates with Javier Baez after the win.

“I knew we were going to win this game,” Jeimer Candelario said. “We’ve got a good lineup, it’s deep and we can make adjustments and keep competing and make it happen.”

Heroes were many. Let’s work in reverse order:

The Tigers went into the bottom of the ninth trailing 4-3 after White Sox slugger Andrew Vaughn homered off closer Gregory Soto in the top half of the inning. And they were facing elite reliever Liam Hendriks.

BOX SCORE: Tigers 5, White Sox 4

Eric Haase, who had entered the game in eighth, battled Hendriks for eight pitches, fouling off two nasty fastballs with the count full. He knew Hendriks wasn’t coming off the fastball and he finally got the barrel to a 97-mph heater at the bottom of the zone and clubbed it into the seats in the left field to tie the game.

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