Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A's Rally Past Tigers 4-3 to Force Game 5

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A's Rally Past Tigers 4-3 to Force Game 5

Article excerpt

OAKLAND, Calif. --

Dog-pile celebrations and whipped cream pies became a regular occurrence this season for the Oakland Athletics.

Perhaps none was as improbable or memorable as this last one, which made sure a season filled with dramatic endings wouldn't end just yet.

Seth Smith hit a game-tying, two-run double off closer Jose Valverde in the ninth inning, Coco Crisp capped Oakland's rally with a two-out RBI single, and the A's staved off elimination for a second straight night with a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 Wednesday night.

"This club, we've been battling the whole year, giving 100 percent, and these walkoffs have been our MO this year," Crisp said.

The A's rode a major league-leading 14 walkoff wins in the regular season to an improbable AL West title. Those paled in comparison to No. 15, which set up a win-or-go-home Game 5 against Justin Verlander and the Tigers.

Josh Reddick led off the ninth with a single just under the glove of diving second baseman Omar Infante. Josh Donaldson followed with a double off the wall in left-center and both runners scored on Smith's double. Two outs later, Crisp lined a single and Smith scored easily when right fielder Avisail Garcia couldn't handle the ball.

That set off a raucous celebration near first base as the A's poured out of the dugout to mob Crisp, who was the recipient of a whipped cream pie that became a custom in this remarkable season in Oakland. This marked the second time the A's erased a two-run deficit in the ninth inning to win a postseason game, the other coming in Game 5 of the 1929 World Series.

Crisp ended three games with RBIs this season, tied for most in the majors. And like the others, this one ended with Reddick nailing him with a whipped cream pie during a postgame television interview.

"He's been our walkoff leader all year," Reddick said. …

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