Torii Hunter Hits Clutch Walk-off Home Run as Tigers Shock A's in 9th

Chris StephensCorrespondent IIAugust 29, 2013

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 29:  Torii Hunter #48 of the Detroit Tigers is greeted at home plate by Victor Martinez #41 after hitting a three-run, walk-off, home run to defeat the Oakland Athletics 7-6 at Comerica Park on August 29, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Miguel Cabrera was on the bench with an ab injury and Max Scherzer had the worst start of his season so far. But that didn't phase Torii Hunter:

The three-run home run came in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs, and runners on first and third. The Detroit Tigers had already scored a run in the inning on a Victor Martinez single to make the score 6-4.

Even more amazing is that all of the runs were scored against Oakland closer Grant Balfour, who had only given up three total runs in his previous 21 appearances.

For the Tigers, the hit showed their best pitcher doesn't have to be on top of his game, nor does Cabrera have to be in the lineup for them to win. They showed that, even with everything working against them, they have the talent to pull out wins.

For Scherzer, his eight-hit, five-earned run performance goes down as his worst of the season. But the Tigers picked him up.

Prince Fielder hit a solo shot in the sixth, followed by a Ramon Santiago RBI single to make the score 6-3.

Then, with nothing happening the next two innings, the Tigers were set up for a big comeback in the ninth. Austin Jackson walked before an Andy Dirks pop out and Alex Avila strike out put two outs on the board. Jackson took second on Fielder's indifference and Fielder was walked. 

That's when Martinez singled to set up Hunter for the game-winning home run.

Here's a little reaction from Twitter:

It's a loss that could come back to haunt the A's as they moved to three games behind division-leading Texas. Had they been able to hold on, they would be two games back.

The win moved the Tigers to six games up over the Indians, which is the third-largest division lead in baseball behind the Braves and Dodgers.

The Tigers are showing they should again be considered the favorites to represent the American League in the World Series. Their hitting is off the charts and the bullpen has done a masterful job holding opponents to little or no runs when they've had a heavy workload.

The win was nice, but the main thing it shows is that if you want to go to the World Series, you're going to have to go through the Tigers.