You would think the Detroit Tigers would have enough motivation to beat the Kansas City Royals without help, but they received some Thursday.
That help came in the form of a rally squirrel. The rodent made an appearance in the bottom of the eighth inning. At first, the squirrel didn’t seem to be much of a problem. Once it realized where it was, however, the squirrel needed to show off.
After initially spending time near the dugout, the squirrel opted to run out on the field. This caused Royals reliever Wade Davis to step off the mound, briefly delaying the game.
That looked to be the end of the fiasco, but the squirrel had other plans. After briefly considering making its exit via the other dugout, the squirrel again interrupted play. Davis again stepped off the mound.
If the squirrel was trying to throw Davis off his game, it didn’t work. The reliever was able to strike out Anthony Gose to complete the inning.
While the squirrel eventually left the park through an outfield fence, its presence was not forgotten. The squirrel’s magic may not have worked immediately, but it came into play during the bottom of the ninth.
Ryan Madson entered the contest for Kansas City, but he was powerless to stop the rally squirrel. Jose Iglesias led things off with a single, and that brought Ian Kinsler to the plate.
Kinsler hasn’t hit for much power this season. In fact, coming into the contest, his .415 slugging percentage was the third-worst of his career. With the rally squirrel, however, anything is possible.
On the third pitch of the at-bat, Kinsler drilled a 92 mph fastball out to left center for the walk-off shot. It was Kinsler’s sixth home run of the season.
Without the inspiration of the rally squirrel, who knows what would have happened. We’re not saying Kinsler wouldn’t have hit the walk-off shot, we’re just saying you shouldn’t be surprised if Kinsler has a shrine made out of acorns sitting in his locker tomorrow.
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