American League - Tigers 5, Athletics 4
DETROIT (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - The Detroit Tigers are a good baseball team.
The Oakland A's, too.
Before the game, the Tigers will honor the 1984 World Series team to commemorate their 30-year anniversary on the field.
Both teams have good starting pitching. Both teams can hit the baseball. Both teams are widely regarded as the top two teams in the American League.
But one team has a good bullpen.
The other, not so much.
Tonight, it didn't show.
Rajai Davis hit a walkoff grand slam with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning at Comerica Park to give the Tigers a 5-4 win over the A's.
The seemingly unflappable Oakland bullpen, the best in the majors, looked the part for three innings, until the ninth inning, when Sean Doolittle blew his second save in three days.
Nick Castellanos led off the ninth inning with a single, Alex Avila followed with another single, Austin Jackson walked a batter later before Davis pulled a pitch over the leftfield wall.
Davis was greeted with a Gatorade bath by Castellanos and Jackson after the walkoff shot, the first of his career.
Righty Anibal Sanchez took the no-decision, surrendering three runs – two earned – on eight hits. He struck out two and walked none in seven-plus innings.
He recorded his 1,000th career strikeout in the fourth inning.
After he departed in a one-run deficit after Brandon Moss doubled home the go-ahead run, Joba Chamberlain allowed a walk, back-to-back singles, and two runs.
The game appeared to be toast at that point, as the A's bullpen was working on three innings of no-hit baseball after starter Scott Kazmir was pulled in the sixth.
Miguel Cabrera hit his 14th home run of the season in the sixth inning – a solo shot to left center off Kazmir – to tie the game at one apiece.
It was the Tigers' final hit – until the ninth inning.
Contact Anthony Fenech: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @anthonyfenech.