Avila Is Hero In Tigers Walkoff Win

The Detroit Tigers are trying to play catchup in not only the American League Central, but in the Wild Card as well. Any loss is critical to their playoff chances at this point, so is any win. Alex Avila made sure the Tigers came out on the winning end of that spectrum today with his long single to put the Tigers a half game closer to first for the time being.

The Tigers were able to get on the board first with Avila’s sacrifice fly in the second inning that scored Nick Castellanos. The Yankees would quickly tie the game the following inning, scoring an unearned run, one of two runs giving up by Kyle Lobstein. After Castellanos’ throwing error put a runner in scoring position, Jacoby Ellsbury drove in yet another run this series.

The Yankees would go on to score once again in the fourth inning when McCann grounded out, which scored Martin Prado. That would be all of the offense the Yankees would be able to muster in the game though after scoring 7+ runs in six of their past seven games.

The Tigers came back in the fifth inning to get even off of a Rajai Davis single that scored Don Kelly. The score would remain tied until the ninth inning when there were fireworks in both the top and bottom halves of the inning.

With two runners on and Brian McCann up to bat, Phil Coke was put in the game to get the final out. Coke would groove a fastball over the plate to McCann who smoked the ball, but hooked it just outside of the foul pole line. Phil Coke would come back to strike out McCann and end the top half of the ninth to give the Tigers the chance to get the walkoff win.

In the bottom of the ninth, Victor Martinez would lead off with a double to give the Tigers a very good chance to win the game, Brian Holaday would be put in to pinch run. Shawn Kelly would then walk J.D. Martinez to get himself into a big jam with no outs. Kelly would be able to come back to strike out Nick Castellanos and a pinch hitting Torri Hunter to bring Alex Avila up to bat. On the very fist pitch he saw, Avila blasted a ball to right field that Suzuki had no chance on right off the bat. The ball would hit off of the top of the wall to give the Tigers a much needed walk off win.

The Tigers now hit the road for eight games in seven days. The trip kicks off against the Chicago White Sox tomorrow night with Justin Verlander facing off against Scott Carroll.

-Brett D’Angelo