Game 5 between Detroit and Oakland hasn’t been all that friendly to the A’s in recent times. And it still wasn’t Monday night. Down three runs entering the ninth inning, the Tigers clawed and clawed until Rajai Davis won it on a walk-off grand slam, a towering home run into the bullpen in left field for a 5-4 victory before a delirious sellout crowd at Comerica Park. It was a fitting finish on the night the Tigers celebrated the 1984 champions. This was the fifth meeting this season between these frequent playoff opponents, and the American League behemoths had split the first four games. The Tigers eliminated the A’s from the postseason each of the previous two seasons, both times in do-or-die Game 5s in the American League Division Series. The only thing missing this time was the champagne, though a mob scene at home plate will suffice. “When you’re actually the guy that’s getting mobbed, it’s a great feeling,” Davis said, beaming. And your last walk-off, Rajai? “In my dreams,” he cracked, “when I was sleeping.” The walk-off grand slam was the eighth in Tigers history, and the first since Carlos Pena did it on June 27, 2004. That night, the Tigers were honoring the 20th anniversary of the 1984 Tigers. And for the 30th anniversary, another walk-off slam. “It definitely brings the guys together as a group,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “You see the big pile at home plate and they celebrated a little bit in the clubhouse, it’s a fun way to win a game. “It’s not something you want to do every night, because you’ll end up having a coronary.” The Tigers, playing without Victor Martinez (strained side), were shut down offensively most of the night thanks to A’s lefty Scott Kazmir, who’s reinvented himself with fantastic success. Two A’s relievers did the job, as well.
Rajai Davis, Tigers slam A's in dramatic walk-off fashion
Detroit News | Jul 1