Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/22/13
Well wasn’t that captivating? The Tigers who looked as if they were ready to be toe-tagged Saturday as they came to bat in the ninth trailing 6-0 pulled off a last-night-of-summer surprise Saturday at Comerica Park when they scored six in the ninth to tie the White Sox before winning it 7-6 in the 12th on three walks and a one-out infield single from Omar Infante. The Tigers could clinch the American League Central and sew up a third consecutive playoff ticket with a victory Sunday over the White Sox and an Indians loss. “We’re pretty good at playing nine innings” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said after the Tigers had won their third straight game and moved within an eyelash of the postseason. “All of a sudden things got hairy and the guys smelled it. “I’d be lying if I thought we had a chance but we just kept playing. That’s a hell of a win. And it’s a tribute to the players.” What remained of another full-house crowd (41772) was consoled that unlike the early birds who had headed into the evening they had stuck around for this amusement-park ride of a finish. Saturday was the first time since 1947 a Tigers team had trailed 6-0 in the ninth and won the game. “It just seemed like we kind of turned it up a notch” said Austin Jackson who had one of four walks in the Tigers’ dizzying ninth-inning rally. “We had good at-bats we were working the count and when we did get a pitch to hit we hit it hard and put it in play.” The Tigers set up their night-ending 12th inning with a historic ninth-inning ruckus. Five consecutive hits at the start of Detroit’s ninth begun with a Torii Hunter triple and polished off by Andy Dirks’ pinch-hit three-run home run into the right-center-field bleachers turned a 6-0 lead into a 6-5 party for a team that still had none out when Addison Reed arrived to pitch to Omar Infante. Reed promptly walked Infante which sent Ramon Santiago to the plate with obvious orders to bunt. He did and pushed a nifty sacrifice to the right side of the mound that sent Infante scampering to second. Alex Avila pinch hit for Brayan Pena and he too walked as did Jackson which loaded the bases. Hunter was next in line and on a 1-1 pitch he sent a fly rocketing to Avisail Garcia in right. It sent Infante home with the tying run as fans and press-box historians began searching memory banks and archives to find out when this kind of insurrection last happened to Motown’s big league team. Hunter’s sacrifice became the deal-sealer on a rally that the Tigers hadn’t matched since just after World War II.
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