DETROIT -- Victor Martinez hit his fifth career grand slam Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park to spur a slew of Tigers rallies against the Royals, though they ultimately lost, 12-9, and lost ground in the American League Wild Card race.Detroit is 1 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the second AL
DETROIT -- Victor Martinez hit his fifth career grand slam Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park to spur a slew of Tigers rallies against the Royals, though they ultimately lost, 12-9, and lost ground in the American League Wild Card race.
Detroit is 1 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the second AL Wild Card spot.
Grand slams mean 40% off pizza
Martinez's blast to right-center field came off Edinson Vólquez to cut the Tigers' deficit to 7-4 in the third inning. It was Martinez's first slam since Aug. 20, 2014, and his fourth as a Tiger.
While Tigers pitchers continued to give up runs, the lineup continued to fight back to keep them in the game.
"It definitely helped. The dugout got real loud, real quick and there was some energy in the dugout and it was good," manager Brad Ausmus said of the grand slam. "The lineup fought their tails off. They did a great job continuing to get us back into the game when it looked like it could have completely been a blowout."
The Tigers got a home run from Justin Upton in the seventh that cut the deficit to 11-7 and two more runs to further cut the deficit in the eighth. Detroit had the tying run at the plate in the form of Miguel Cabrera in the ninth, but he could not deliver, lining out to Alex Gordon in left field to end the game.
"We grinded the best we could," catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "We tried to come back from it, but we couldn't."
The heart in the Tigers' offense comes as the page turns to the final week of the season. Detroit will need to display even more heart as it tries to earn a Wild Card spot, and the players seem to have gained a spark from seeing the offense battle Sunday.
"It's going to be a [heck] of a week when we pull this off," starter Matt Boyd said. "Did you see how we fought today? We know what to do and obviously today wasn't our day, but we all believe we can do it in here. And that's exactly what we plan on doing."
Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.