Jackson's walk on a 3-2 count Monday night was only the second
issued by Oakland lefty Sean Doolittle (1-3) in 39 1/3 innings this
season, and it loaded the bases for Davis.
Davis then took a 1-0 slider and put it just over the fence in the
left-field corner for his third career grand slam and first walk-off
"I hung the crap out of it," Doolittle said after serving up the
home run that gave the Detroit Tigers a dramatic, 5-4 victory over
the Oakland A's in the opener of a three-game series between
division leaders that met in each of the last two postseasons.
"I wasn't aware of that," Jackson said when he learned Doolittle
entered the game with a 56-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. "That's an
unbelievable stat. It seemed like a long at-bat.
"I was stepping out after every pitch, to make my plan in my head. I
wanted to keep the same aggressiveness. That's a guy who throws 97
(mph) and he's got that nasty slider too."
"Jackson did a real good job," Doolittle said. "You could see he was
really shortening up his swing with two strikes."
Rookie left-hander Blaine Hardy (1-0) got his first major league win
after throwing a 1-2-3 ninth for Detroit.
With the Tigers trailing 4-1, third baseman Nick Castellanos singled
to third to open the ninth, and catcher Alex Avila lined a single
past second. Center fielder Jackson walked with one out and Davis
hit his grand slam.
"I've never done it before," Davis said of his walk-off slam,
"except in my dreams when I'm asleep.
"When you're the guy getting mobbed (at home plate), it's a great
"He got behind," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of Doolittle's
third blown save this season. "And they got on him early, too. That
breaking ball that Davis hit, I don't think he was trying to throw
it for a strike there.
"He gave up a couple hits the other night and ended up not getting
the save. But with a three-run lead, you definitely felt
Oakland earned its 4-1 lead with three runs in the eighth. Left
fielder Yoenis Cespedes was safe at first when Tigers shortstop
Eugenio Suarez threw the ball over first baseman Miguel Cabrera's
head on an easy ground ball to open the inning. Right fielder
Brandon Moss then slammed an RBI double to deep left-center on a 2-2
pitch from right-hander Anibal Sanchez, breaking a 1-1 deadlock.
[to top of second column]
Right-hander Joba Chamberlain relieved Sanchez and allowed a walk
and a single before shortstop Jed Lowrie lined a two-run single to
With two outs in the sixth, Lowrie had blooped an RBI single to
center, scoring Cespedes from third to break a scoreless tie.
Cabrera rocketed a hanging 2-2 curveball from A's starter Scott
Kazmir into the seats in left-center to square the score at 1-1 in
the bottom of the sixth.
Sanchez allowed three runs (two earned) in seven innings. Kazmir
limited Detroit to one run in 5 1/3 innings.
NOTES: LHP Scott Kazmir of Oakland was removed from the game with
one out in the sixth when his leg began cramping up. ... LF Yoenis
Cespedes came out after batting in the eighth due to left hamstring
problems, and manager Bob Melvin said he was doubtful to play
Tuesday. ... Detroit DH Victor Martinez was a late lineup scratch
due to soreness in his lower back/side area. He was replaced by J.D.
Martinez, originally scheduled to get the game off. J.D. Martinez
went 0-for-2 with two walks. ... Oakland made a position switch
before the game, shifting Brandon Moss from first to right field and
moving Stephen Vogt from right to first base. ... The A's hit the
midpoint of their schedule with a 51-30 record, third best in
Oakland history. The 1971 team was 53-28, and the 1988 squad 52-29
halfway through the season. ... Detroit LHP Ian Krol threw his
second bullpen session Monday without incident and could be headed
for a brief rehab assignment soon. He was placed on the disabled
list June 21 with a sore left shoulder.
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