Reds, Tigers, Twins, Padres, Dodgers all get wins in final at-bats
By Andrew Simon
Tuesday was a huge night for walk-offs across the Major Leagues, as five home teams came up with game-ending hits to win in dramatic fashion.
The theatrics included a trio of homers. Joey Votto went deep to beat the Cardinals after the Reds blew a five-run lead, Brian Dozier's 11th-inning blast lifted the Twins over the Marlins, and the Dodgers' Trayce Thompson capped the evening by leaving the yard against the Rockies.
It wasn't just the long ball that got the job done, however. The Tigers' Ian Kinsler and the Padres' Wil Myers both stepped up with game-winning singles after their clubs came from behind to tie.
The five walk-off hits on the day were a season high. The previous top mark was three, including two homers, set last Wednesday. It was the first time there were five walk-off hits in one day in the Majors since Aug. 16, 2011
In Cincinnati's case, the walk-off turned a rough night into a happy one. The club's bullpen problems had continued, as a 6-1 lead after seven frames turned into a 6-6 tie in the ninth, before Votto came to the rescue. With one out and nobody on base, he got ahead 2-0 against St. Louis left-hander Kevin Siegrist before launching a fastball over Great American Ball Park's left-center-field wall for his fifth career walk-off homer in the Reds' 7-6 win
"I got into a good count and stood behind the ball and made a good move on it, and I ended up finishing the game," Votto said. "For every one of those, there's 50 misses. I'm glad I didn't miss that one."
The Twins also sent the fans at Target Field home happy, thanks to Dozier. Facing Marlins righty Dustin McGowan with two outs and a runner on second in a 4-4 tie, the second baseman worked the count full before lining a hanging slider over the left-field wall for his third career walk-off homer in the 6-4 win..
It also was only the second Twins walk-off homer in the Target Field era to come in the 11th inning or later, joining a Trevor Plouffe blast from last April 17.
"It felt good," Dozier said. "McGowan threw me a lot of breaking balls. I only saw one fastball. So on 3-2, I was thinking he was going to throw me a breaking ball. If he blew it by me, he blew it by me. But it kind of backed up. Jogging around the bases felt good."
The Dodgers coughed up a 3-0 first-inning lead to Colorado but avoided extra innings thanks to Thompson. With two down, he smacked an 0-1 pitch from Carlos Estevez into the left-field bleachers for a 4-3 victory.
The rookie outfielder also had hit a two-out, ninth-inning walk-off shot against the Mets on May 10, making him one of two players this season with multiple game-ending homers. The other is San Diego's Melvin Upton Jr.
In Detroit, the Tigers' bats were silent through eight innings against the Blue Jays, but RBI doubles by Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera erased a 2-0 deficit in the ninth. One inning later, Detroit loaded the bases with no outs against Toronto righty Joe Biagini, setting the stage for Kinsler to chop a high bouncer over third base to give the Tigers a 3-2 win.
The second baseman now has eight career walk-off hits, with four of those coming last season, while the Tigers have matched a season high with five straight wins to move to two games over .500.
As for the Padres, they trailed the Braves, 3-2, heading into the bottom of the ninth but pulled even on Derek Norris' leadoff homer off closer Arodys Vizcaino. One out later, with runners on second and third, Myers smoked a liner down the left-field line to complete the rally and the Padres' 4-3 win.
It was the second walk-off hit of Myers career. His first came in 2013, when he was the American League Rookie of the Year with the Rays.
Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.