By: Dan Dickerson
There are comebacks you can see coming, there are comebacks that take you somewhat by surprise – and then there are the comebacks that seemingly come from out of the blue. From the “out of the blue” category, we give you Thursday’s Tigers win over the Oakland A’s. For three games and eight and a half innings, the A’s thoroughly outplayed the Tigers…and then Torii Hunter delivered a two-out, three-run walk-off home run to cap a four run bottom of the ninth, and deliver a most-unexpected 7-6 Tigers win.
The A’s had outscored the Tigers 28-15 through the first three games, and took a 6-3 lead to the bottom of the ninth of game four. A’s closer Grant Balfour – who was 33 for 34 closing out games for Oakland this year – took over, and struggled with his command, right from the first batter.
He walked Austin Jackson on four pitches, then bounced back to get Andy Dirks to pop out, and struck out Alex Avila. But Balfour then walked Prince Fielder on four pitches, and gave up a single to Victor Martinez, scoring Jackson to make it 6-4. Torii Hunter – who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 7th, then took an 0-1 slider on the outer half of the plate – and deposited it into the visiting bullpen in deep left-center – touching off one of the wilder celebrations you will ever see at Comerica Park. With Cleveland’s loss in Atlanta later in the day, the win widens the Tigers lead to 6 1/2 games in the Central. The Indians and Tigers start a three game series Friday night at Comerica Park.
Listen below to Victor Martinez’ RBI single in the 9th
Listen to Torii Hunter’s walk-off HR