Alex Avila has struggled all season to get his average above .200, but he continues to deliver key hits for the Detroit Tigers. The latest came Monday night, when Avila blasted an opposite-field, three-run homer in the ninth inning off Cleveland closer Chris Perez, giving Detroit a clutch 4-2 victory.
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Avila’s homer set off a jubilant celebration in the Tigers’ dugout, with Prince Fielder even picking up Victor Martinez. Joaquin Benoit closed out the game in the bottom of the ninth, pushing Detroit’s AL Central lead to four games.
Just last week, Avila delivered a victory over the Washington Nationals on a grand slam off Stephen Strasburg. He also had a bomb in the ninth inning at Houston earlier this season, off new teammate Jose Veras, to turn a loss into a win there.