DETROIT (AP) -- Eric Munson started his day without a spot in the
Tigers starting lineup. He finished it off with a game-winning home
Munson homered leading off the ninth inning to give the Detroit
Tigers a 7-6 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
Munson was informed during batting practice that Brandon Inge,
who was slated to play third, had a broken finger and that he would
take his place.
In the 12th, he drove a pitch from Brandon Villafuerte (0-1) an
estimated 457 feet over the center field fence for his ninth home
run of the season. It was the longest home run in Comerica Park
"Just really was trying to make good contact," Munson said.
"The first pitch, I swung too hard. Just told myself to make
contact, just try to get a single."
And after the first walkoff homer of his career, Munson got
another surprise, when Muhammad Ali visited the Tigers' clubhouse.
The three-time heavyweight champion was in town with his son's
13-and-Under baseball team, which is playing in a tournament in the
Ali did magic tricks for the players, joked with them and posed
for pictures with them.
"That's an honor," Munson said. "If you're not humbled by
him, if you don't see something special about him coming into your
Ugueth Urbina (3-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.
"I hate to use an overworked pun but we are snakebit," Arizona
manager Bob Brenly said. "Brandon was throwing the living
daylights out of the ball. He makes one mistake and it gets hit out
of the ballpark."
Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman allowed six runs and nine hits
in seven innings. He walked five and struck out seven.
Arizona's Casey Fossum allowed five runs -- four earned -- in 4
Detroit went ahead in the first on Guillen's solo home run to
Arizona tied it in the third on Danny Bautista's bloop RBI
double down the right-field line that scored Scott Hairston from
third. With two outs, Hairston sent a fly to deep left that Tigers
left fielder Rondell White misjudged. The ball landed on the
warning track and bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double.
Hairston then moved to third on Steve Finley's infield single and
scored on Bautista's hit.
Arizona got four runs in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead on Tracy's
two-run, bases-loaded single and Roberto Alomar's two-run double to
The Tigers tied it 5-all in the bottom half on Guillen's two-run
double and Dmitri Young's RBI double, which chased Fossum.
"Getting three runs to tie it at 5-5 was huge," Detroit
manager Alan Trammell said.
The Diamondbacks regained the lead in the sixth on Finley's
run-scoring double, but Detroit tied it again on Infante's solo
home run leading off the seventh.<
^Note:@ Inge was place on the 15-day disabled list after the game
and C Mike Difelice will be recalled from Triple-A Toledo to take
Inge's spot on the roster. Inge was injured trying to bunt in
Friday night's game. ... Detroit CF Sanchez left the game in the
bottom of the fifth with a mild right hamstring strain sustained
while beating out a bunt. He is day to day. ... Arizona had only
scored 13 runs in its previous seven games. ... Rodriguez is on a
45-for-96 streak. ... Each team made two errors. ... Gonzalez was
walked intentionally to load the bases in the third and fifth
innings. ... Hairston was 3-for-5. ... Alomar's double was the
500th of his career.