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Plenty of late-inning drama Tuesday

Alex Avila

AvilaFans got their money’s worth across baseball Tuesday with plenty of walk-off wins and last at-bat heroics.

Alex Avila hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the eighth to give the Detroit Tigers a 7-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the second time in his career he homered to send his team from a deficit into a lead in the eighth inning or later.

Lost in the drama was Justin Verlander’s streak of 10 straight quality starts to begin a season came to an end. Elias reports it’s the longest streak by a Tigers pitcher since earned runs became an official statistic in the AL in 1913.

In Baltimore, the Orioles came away with a 5-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Adam Jones’ first career walk-off home run. It’s the third walk-off win for the Orioles, who last year led the American League with 12 such victories.

The New York Yankees escaped with a 5-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays with two runs in the bottom of the ninth, capped by Mark Teixeira’s walk-off single. It was his first career regular-season walk-off hit with the Yankees. He homered to end Game 2 of the 2009 ALDS against the Twins.

The victory gave CC Sabathia a nine-inning complete game. Sabathia ended a streak of 341 straight games without a Yankee starter throwing a complete game of at least nine innings. According to Elias, that was the longest such streak in American League history.

Jay Bruce hit a bases-loaded double with two outs in the top of the ninth as the Cincinnati Reds snapped an eight-game losing streak (including playoff games) to the Philadelphia Phillies. Bruce is hitting .522 during a six-game hit streak with four HR and nine RBI.

Bruce’s hit was the first by the Reds on the road in the ninth inning with the bases loaded to put them into the lead since September 8, 2008. On that date, Jeff Keppinger had a two-run double at Miller Park against the Milwaukee Brewers, giving the Reds a 5-4 victory.

Jonathan Lucroy

LucroySpeaking of the Brewers, they too won in their final at-bat, posting a 7-6 victory over the Washington Nationals as they rallied from a four-run deficit. Jonathan Lucroy had a two-out, two-RBI single in the bottom of the eighth, which capped the five-run rally.

Entering Tuesday, Lucroy had five career go-ahead hits but none were as late in the game. His previous latest go-ahead hit came on July 24, 2010 when he had a double which broke a 2-2 tie at home against the same Nationals team.