By: Jeff Riger
The Detroit clubhouse was ecstatic Sunday afternoon after the Tigers edged out the Oakland A’s 5-4 at Comerica Park in game 2 of the ALDS. Watch the Tigers celebrate before hopping on a plane and heading to Oakland where Detroit can finish off the series and advance to the ALCS on Tuesday evening.
Detroit utility man Don Kelly was the hero on Sunday after his walk off sacrifice fly to right field with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th inning and 1 outscoring Omar Infante. Kelly, a player that was designated for assignment earlier in the season and a September call up made the playoff roster over players like Brennan Boesch and it paid off both for the Tigers and Kelly. Kelly was inserted as a pinch runner earlier in the game and was given the chance of the early postseason so far with an at bat against Oakland closer Grant Balfour. Balfour, coming into the game was part of an A’s bullpen that had posted 26 consecutive scoreless innings.
“You got to relax in that situation; it’s with the game on the line, 45 thousand people going nuts. You just have to try to relax, calm yourself down and get good a pitch” pitch Kelly said.
Watch the Don Kelly video below for the entire interview.
Detroit catcher Gerald Laird started Sunday’s game and was involved in multiple crucial plays that aided the Tigers in victory. Laird was on the receiving end of an Avisail Garcia throw in the 3rd inning that gunned Oakland’s Coco Crisp at the plate and was also integral in calling a game that allowed Doug Fister to last 7 innings and strike out 8 A’s hitters. Laird also was unable to stop Yoenis Cespedes in the 8th inning as the left fielder stole second base, third base and then scored the tying run on a Joaquin Benoit wild pitch. Benoit then surrendered a solo homer to Josh Reddick the very next pitch. Laird was pinch hit for in the bottom of the 8th inning and was happy that the Tigers walked away with the win but was very vocal that this series is not over yet.
“We took care of business at home and that is what you have to do, you have to win your games at home, now we got to go win one on the road. I like our chances but, like I told the guys we still got to come and bring it. These guys just still swept a real good baseball (the Texas Rangers) team at home a week ago, so we have to come ready to play on Tuesday and hopefully get it over with. If they win a couple of games and get momentum things can switch. So we got to bring it on Tuesday and hopefully finish this thing” said Laird.
Watch the entire Gerald Laird video below, the catcher even talks about Coco Crisp dropping the Miguel Cabrera ball in the 7th inning that allowed 2 runs.
Detroit pitcher Joaquin struggled Sunday allowing 2 runs in the 8th inning to give the A’s a 4-3 lead. Benoit delivered a wild pitch allowing Yoenis Cespedes to cross home plate after he stole 2nd and third base and then gave up a solo homer to Josh Reddick.
Benoit threw Reddick a changeup that he took deep and claimed that “he hit a good pitch.” Benoit was grateful that his teammates picked him up after his struggles saying “it feels great, I know I have had a lot of success since being here and it’s a bad feeling when you let the team down. But, what they did today was unbelievable and I really feel confident that they will keep doing that later on in the playoffs.”
Watch the entire Joaquin Benoit video below and then make sure to listen to the Tigers-A’s game 3 of the ALDS on Tuesday evening starting at 8:40 on “the Ticket.”