OAKLAND — For the second time in less than 24 hours, the Oakland Athletics came from behind in the ninth inning to walk off Francisco Rodriguez and the Detroit Tigers.
Rajai Davis led off the bottom of the ninth on Sunday with a walk and scored the tying run on Jed Lowrie’s double. Ryon Healy hit a towering fly ball to left that cleared the fence for his second career walkoff homer and an 8-6 win for his team.
James McCann gave Detroit the lead with a two-run homer when Ryan Dull left an 0-2 slider over the plate in the sixth inning.
Sonny Gray took some positive steps in Sunday’s start, but he lasted just 4 2/3 innings due to shaky defense. All three of the runs Gray allowed in the fifth inning were unearned after a Yonder Alonso error. Gray exited with a 4-3 lead, but Dull’s wild pitch, the third of the day from Oakland pitchers, tied the game with two outs in the fifth.
Some of the same problems that haunted Gray in 2016 cropped up on Sunday. The No. 9 hitter, Dixon Machado, reached base twice. The third time through the order was troublesome for Gray with Alonso’s error shifting the momentum toward the visitors.
As with many of Gray’s rough innings last year, it came with the chance for a shutdown inning.
Alonso stretched the A’s lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run shot, his third homer in the last two days. His nine home runs this season match his career high.
The A’s had a chance to add on in the fourth after Plouffe and Chad Pinder followed Alonso’s homer with singles, but Tigers starter Daniel Norris escaped further damage.
Norris allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits over 4.2 innings.
Oakland briefly retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth on Plouffe’s two-out RBI single.
Shane Greene pitched two shutout innings in relief of Norris and was in line for the win before the A’s rallied against Rodriguez. Justin Wilson continued his role as Detroit’s best reliever, holding the A’s scoreless in the eighth. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus chose to keep Wilson in the setup role and let Rodriguez face the top of the order in the ninth, and it came back to haunt Detroit for a second consecutive day.
Santiago Casilla was credited with his first win of the year after a 1-2-3 top of the ninth. After struggling in his debut on Wednesday, Wahl had an excellent weekend, striking out four over three shutout innings. Even though John Axford and other relievers may be returning soon, Wahl has quickly made a compelling case to stay on the big league roster.
The A’s picked up their first Sunday win of the year, having dropped all three Sunday contests in April. A fourth scheduled Sunday game in April was rained out.bobby wahldaniel norrisDetroit TIgersfrancisco rodriguezjames mccannMajor League BaseballMLBOakland Athleticsryon healyshane greeneSonny Grayyonder alonso