DETROIT – Rajai Davis hit his third career grand slam with one out in the ninth inning, giving the Detroit Tigers a 5-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.
Oakland closer Sean Doolittle (2-2) was given a three-run lead to work with in the ninth but managed only one out. Nick Castellanos and Alex Avila started the inning with singles. Eugenio Suarez struck out, but Doolittle walked Austin Jackson – just the second walk he has issued this season – to load the bases.
Doolittle then missed the strike zone with a curveball, then hung another one over the middle of the plate. Davis didn’t make any mistakes, hitting his first career walk-off homer down the left field line.
Detroit’s rally took Anibal Sanchez off the hook – he allowed two earned runs in seven innings to extend his unbeaten streak to 10 starts.
Blaine Hardy (1-0) earned his first career victory with a scoreless top of the ninth.
Oakland starter Scott Kazmir left the game in the sixth, one pitch after appearing to grab at his hip, but Dan Otero replaced him and kept the game tied through seven innings. A team spokesperson said that Kazmir was fine.
Oakland broke a 1-all tie in the eighth, helped by a Tigers defensive lapse. Yoenis Cespedes led off with a routine grounder to short, but Suarez’s throw sailed well over Cabrera’s head at first. Brandon Moss followed with an RBI double into the left-center gap. Sanchez then walked Donaldson.
Joba Chamberlain entered and allowed a single to Stephen Vogt, loading the bases. Jed Lowrie made it 4-1 with a two-run single to left, but Phil Coke replaced Chamberlain and almost got out of the inning in one batter.
Nick Castellanos grabbed Alberto Callaspo’s grounder, stepped on third and threw to Ian Kinsler at second for a double play. Kinsler relayed the ball to first, hoping for a 5-4-3 triple play, but Callaspo beat the throw.
Sanchez, who struck out his 1,000th career batter in the fourth, lost his shutout in the sixth on Lowrie’s RBI single, but Miguel Cabrera tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a home run.