Tigers walk-off over Athletics

DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers were all but finished in the bottom of the ninth, down 4-1 to the Oakland Athletics, on Monday night until Rajai Davis came to the plate with the bases loaded and blasted a walk-off grand slam for a 5-4 win.

Anibal Sanchez got the start for the Tigers and gave up a lead-off double to Coco Crisp, but got out of the first unscathed as Oakland stranded two to kick off the contest.

Miguel Cabrera legged out a two-out double to left-center in the first, but J.D. Martinez went down swinging to end the first inning.

The A’s picked things up in the top of the sixth, still tied at 0-0, as Brandon Moss and Cespedes had back-to-back singles to start the inning to put men on first and second with no outs. Josh Donaldson flied out to right, but he sent Torii Hunter deep enough to move Cespedes to third base with just one out. The Tigers got another out, but Jed Lowrie took a single to center, scoring Cespedes for the first run of the day and a 1-0 Oakland advantage.

The one-run lead didn’t last long, however, as Cabrera led off the bottom of six with a solo-shot home run, making it 1-1. Scott Kazmir walked J.D. Martinez before he had to leave the game with an apparent side injury, bringing in Dan Otero who finished out the inning.

Sanchez came back out to pitch the seventh and tossed a 1-2-3 inning to preserve the 1-1 tie heading into the seventh inning stretch and came out for the eighth, but was taken out after an RBI-double from Moss brought Cespedes home as Oakland took a 2-1 lead.

Joba Chamberlain came in for relief, but loaded the bases before giving up a two-run single to Lowrie as the A’s extended the lead to 4-1, making way for Phil Coke to come in. The Tigers came close to pulling off a triple play, but they had to settle for just two before Coke stranded two A’s on base to end the top of the eighth.

Blaine Hardy came in for the ninth and held the A’s scoreless, giving the reins to Davis and the Detroit offense with a three-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth. The Tigers loaded the bases, and Davis hit the bomb to deep-left to pick up the dramatic win.

The Tigers (45-34) return to action tonight at 7:08 p.m.  in the second game of the series with the Athletics (51-31).

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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