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Detroit Tigers’ left fielder Rajai Davis delivered in the biggest moment of the game on Monday night. With the bases loaded and the Tigers trailing by three runs in the bottom of the ninth, Davis smacked a grand slam to left to give Detroit a 5-4 walk-off victory over the Oakland A’s.
Entering the ninth, the A’s held a 4-1 lead. Detroit third baseman Nick Casellanos led the inning off with a single. Catcher Alex Avila followed with a single of his own. Shortstop Eugenio Suarez went down on strikes. Then center fielder Austin Jackson stepped into the batter’s box to face A’s closer Sean Doolittle.
With a 2-2 count, Austin fouled off three straight pitches before taking back-to-back balls to draw a walk. Then Davis stepped up to the plate and sent Doolittle’s second pitch into the left field stands to end the game.
“That’s a very good ball club, very good closer,” Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus said in his postgame press conference on MLB.com. “It was a heck of a comeback by our guys. Great at-bat by Austin, kept the inning going and obviously got Rajai to the dish. There were some good at-bats off of Doolittle.”
Oakland established its lead with one run in the sixth and three more in the eighth. In the sixth, shortstop Jed Lowrie singled in left fielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Cespedes scored again in the eighth, this time on a double by right fielder Brandon Moss. Lowrie amassed two more RBI with a single to left.
For the Tigers, they scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning on a solo home run off the bat of first baseman Miguel Cabrera.
Detroit continued its pattern of winning on a walk-off grand slam roughly 10 years after its most recent one.
Prior to Monday night, the last Detroit walk-off grand slam came on June 27, 2004. The most recent one before that came on June 21, 1994, reports The Associated Press. So it might be awhile before you see another.