On the night where the Detroit Tigers honored their 1984 World Series team with its 30th anniversary, the 2014 Tigers created some magic of their own.
Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis hit his third career grand slam with one out in the ninth, giving Detroit a 5-4 victory over an Oakland team who currently has the best record in the major leagues.
Long in the Making
It was the Tigers first game-ending grand slam in just over a decade. Carlos Pena hit one against Arizona on June 27, 2004, which was also the same weekend in which Detroit celebrated the 20th anniversary of the 1984 championship team. Before Pena, Lou Whitaker, who was a member of the 1984 team, hit one against Cleveland on June 21, 1994.
Oakland broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth when Yoenis Cespedes hit a routine grounder to short, but Eugenio Suarez threw the ball well over the head of first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Brandon Moss followed that with an RBI single into the left-center field gap.
Anibal Sanchez later walked Josh Donaldson before exiting the game. Joba Chamberlain came in and allowed a single to Stephen Vogt, which loaded the bases. Jed Lowrie ripped a two-run single with the bases loaded to give Oakland a 4-1 lead. Phil Coke replaced Chamberlain and got out of the inning.
Oakland closer Sean Doolittle entered the game in the ninth with a three run lead. Doolittle had been lights out since being put into that role. Nick Castellanos and Alex Avila led off with back-to-back singles. Suarez struck out swinging. Austin Jackson fouled of three consecutive 2-2 pitches and took two fastballs inside, drawing a walk. It was just Doolittle's second walk of the season.
Davis stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth. Doolittle missed with a curve and hung another one over the middle of the plate and Davis didn't miss, sending it deep down the line and into the right field bullpen for a grand slam to walk off and give the Tigers the 5-4 win.
Detroit's rally took Sanchez off the hook, and earned Blaine Hardy his first career victory with a scoreless top of the ninth.
Sanchez also struck out his 1,000th batter of his career in the fourth inning of the game. Oakland pitcher Scott Kazmir left the game in the sixth with an apparent hip injury.
Detroit has now won 9 out of their last 11 games and continue to be one of the hottest teams in baseball.
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