By: Malaika Bobino
Oakland, CA – The A’s have been known for their walk-off wins, they had fourteen in the regular season. Tonight they added number fifteen, after what seemed like a losing situation in the eighth inning, things quickly changed in the ninth.
Oakland forced a game five tomorrow night after handing the Detroit Tigers a 4-3 loss. Their second consecutive loss in the series came as shock to many who thought the Tigers had this game wrapped.
“Well, what it’s done is give us a sense that we’re never out of it until the last out,” said manager Bob Melvin. “We’ve been in plenty of situations where this has popped up, but probably no more than tonight. I mean, they got their closer on the mound and the game was going in their direction.”
Bottom of the ninth, Josh Reddick who had set an Athletics record for eight strikeouts in the post season. Broke the spell when he hit a singled on a ground ball to right field.
Then back-to-back doubles from both Josh Donaldson and Seth Smith who homered last night, hit a two-run RBI double to tie the game 3-3 off Tigers closer Jose Valverde.
“Its amazing,” said Coco Crisp. “The guys in front of me did a good job of getting on base. Red [Reddick] was huge! He kept his head in the game, even though the balls haven’t been fallen for him. JD’s [Donaldson] and Smitty’s [Smith] big hit gave me the opportunity to do something magical. These walk-offs have been our thing this year.”
Two outs and one on, Crisp hit the game winning RBI single. It was explosive, Oakland has delivered these type of dramatic wins throughout the season and no better way than tie the series forcing a a deciding game five.
“We’ve done it too many times down this road to feel like we weren’t going to win,” Melvin said. “And then we get the first guy on and we feel like ‘Here we go again’. That’s a contagious feeling in our dugout.”
A shocked Detroit looked on as the A’s celebrated on the field. Facing a two-run deficit heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers thought they had this game in the bag. They set the tone early with run from Austin Jackson who hit a RBI single in the third.
Prince Fielder leadoff the fourth with a solo blast to right field and pinch-hitter Avisail Garcia hit a RBI single to extend their lead 3-1 in the eighth. Pitcher Max Scherzer was on fire early on but then cooled off. He went 5 1/3 innings allowing just one baserunner on through the first four frames. Scherzer gave up three hits, one run, one walk and struck out eight.
“Yeah, well, it’s baseball,” manager Jim Leyland said. “I mean, that’s why this is the greatest game of all. It looked liked we were going to get it. We didn’t do it. We didn’t quite get the 27 outs, that’s part of the game.”