This is the kind of thing that happens for a team having one of those magical runs: the two huge clutch plays that delivered a 1-0 A’s win in extras Friday night were made by a rookie, making his first career appearance in the majors, and his first career knock was a walk-off game-winner. Break up the A’s!
Before we get to Ramon Laureano’s big hit, how about this play, in the top of the 13th inning, to cut down Jose Iglesias at third base and get the the Athletics out of what would’ve been a tight spot:
That was a big moment for the Tigers, who’d only advanced a runner past second base once all night, and never after the 7th inning. And the clutch throw—upheld upon review—was just a warmup for Laureano, who was then 0-4 from the plate on the night. Nick Martini led off the bottom of the inning with a walk, and was advanced to second on a two-out single from Jonathan Lucroy, setting the stage for Laureano’s big moment:
For his game-saving and -winning heroics, Laureano was thoroughly owned by his appreciative teammates:
The plucky Athletics are now in possession of the second AL Wild Card and just 4.5 games back of the Yankees, who’ve lost three in a row, for the first.