Late inning heroics highlight Sunday's best
June, 24, 2012
Getty ImagesThe Oakland A's celebrate their walk-off win against the Giants on Sunday.
NO SWEEP BY THE BAY
Out west, the Oakland Athletics trailed 2-1 and were down to their last strike before Derek Norris’s first career home run sent the fans home happy with a 4-2 walk-off win over the San Francisco Giants.
This is just the second time in Athletics history that they've won a regular-season game against the Giants on a walk-off home run. The other came in 1999, and in both instances the Athletics were trailing and down to their last out at the time of the home run.
The last Athletics walk-off home run to come when trailing was by Marco Scutaro against Mariano Rivera on April 15, 2007.
SOUTH SIDE HEROICS
The Chicago White Sox got a pinch-hit 10th inning single from Eduardo Escobar to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 1-0, and move past the Cleveland Indians into first place in the AL Central.
It was the first career walk-off hit for Escobar and the first extra-inning, pinch-hit walk-off hit by a White Sox player since Mario Valdez’s 10th inning single beat the Kansas City Royals on June 25, 1997.
Rookie Jose Quintana spun another gem, tossing eight scoreless innings with no walks. Quintana held the Brewers hitless in 10 at-bats ending in a slider; opponents are hitting .177 against the pitch this season.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
The Tampa Bay Rays rallied for a 3-2 win in the first game of their doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies thanks to Carlos Pena’s eighth inning three-run homer. It was Pena’s sixth go-ahead homer in the eighth inning or later with the Rays, the second-most such homers in team history.
David Price earned his 10th win of the season with seven innings of one-run ball. Price's fastball averaged 96.7 MPH, matching his fastest this year. With two strikes, he upped it to 97.5 MPH, and the Phillies went hitless in seven two-strike at-bats ending in a heater.
VERLANDER HOOKS PIRATES
The Detroit Tigers avoided a sweep by the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 3-2 win as Delmon Young singled home Quintin Berry in the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie. Justin Verlander went the distance, notching his MLB-best fourth complete game this season.
Verlander relied on his hook to put away batters, throwing 27 curveballs, his second-highest total of the season. The Pirates were hitless with four strikeouts in seven at-bats ending with the pitch.
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE DIAMOND
• Matt Wieters’ two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Baltimore Orioles a 2-1 comeback win over the Washington Nationals. The Orioles have an MLB-leading eight go-ahead homers in the eighth inning or later this season.
• The Minnesota Twins rallied to beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 thanks to a ninth inning, game-winning two-run home run from Josh Willingham. This was Willingham’s second go-ahead homer in the ninth inning or later this season; only Adam Jones (3) has more.