After a series of crazy events trying to lock down a win, the Detroit Tigers pulled off an exciting 4-3 ninth inning walk-off victory in Saturday's showcase game with the New York Yankees.
The two teams waited through a 39-minute rain delay before the first pitch was thrown at Comerica Park, but neither starting pitcher appeared to be affected as New York's Hiroki Kuroda and Detroit's Rick Porcello each turned in quality starts. Porcello yielded just one run through six innings, lowering his season ERA to 4.86. Offensively, the Tigers were paced by a pair of straightaway center field home runs from the bat of All-Star Miguel Cabrera, who sent the ball roughly 900 feet combined with the two gravity-defying blasts.
With a one-run lead late, Tigers closer Jose Valverde struggled mightily to find the strike zone immediately after entering the game in a save situation in the ninth. The one-time sure thing at the end of games proceeded to walk the game-tying run with two outs for his third blown save of the season. Due to his team's offensive prowess soon thereafter however, Valverde ended up lucking his way into his third victory of the year.
A game-winning sacrifice fly from the bat of backup catcher Omir Santos scored Brennan Boesch in the bottom half of the ninth to give Detroit a thrilling 4-3 win in walk-off fashion, and moved the Tigers to just three games below .500 on the season. Santos dropped what could have been an inning-ending pop up with the Yankees at bat in the ninth, but responded with his second career game-winning RBI.
Looking to take the three-game series on Sunday, Detroit will hope that ace Justin Verlander is on top of his game as usual in the series finale against New York's Phil Hughes.
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