Published February 05, 2015
Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Rajai Davis hit a grand slam in the ninth inning to give the Detroit Tigers a 5-4 win over the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a three-game set.
Nick Castellanos hit a leadoff single to start the inning against Sean Doolittle (1-3) and Alex Avila followed with a single. After Eugenio Suarez struck out, Austin Jackson worked a full count before holding on ball four to load the bases for Davis, who smacked the second pitch he saw over the wall in left for the win.
"That was a great moment and a moment I will cherish forever," said Davis. "My first walk-off, ever, and to do it in a game like this is phenomenal. I'll never forget this."
Davis made a winner of Blaine Hardy (1-1), who pitched a scoreless inning of relief, while Anibal Sanchez allowed three runs -- two earned -- and eight hits over seven-plus innings.
Miguel Cabrera's solo home run accounted for the other run for the Tigers, who came into this series having dropped two of three to Houston.
Jed Lowrie drove in three runs while Brandon Moss had the other RBI for the Athletics, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Scott Kazmir allowed just one run on four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.
"This was a tough one to lose," said Oakland catcher John Jaso. "Davis is a pesky guy and he's beat us before. It'd be great to see him go to the National League."
The game stayed scoreless until the sixth inning as Yoenis Cespedes and Moss each singled to start the inning. The next two batters recorded outs, but Lowrie punched a single to center for a 1-0 lead.
Cabrera, though, erased the lead in the home half as he led off the frame with his 14th home run of the season.
Cespedes reached first to start the eighth when Suarez's throw to first was off, and came home as Moss followed with a double.
Joba Chamberlain then took the mound and the next two batters reached base before Lowrie punched a single to left that chased home two more runners for a 4-1 lead.
Detroit nearly turned a triple-play on Alberto Callaspo's grounder to third as Castellanos fielded the ball and tagged third before throwing to second for the force out. The throw to first, though, was just a bit late. Eric Sogard then grounded out to end the inning.
Oakland batted 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base ... Detroit was 1-for-8 with RISP and stranded seven ... These two teams split a four-game set in Oakland in late May.