Alex Avila has struggled this year. Struggled mightily in fact. Since coming off the disabled list his average hasn’t come up much (.198) but he has been Mr. Clutch hitting some big home runs for the Tigers over the last couple of weeks. He hit another tonight.
With two men on base and nobody out in the top of the ninth most Tigers fans were hoping Avila wouldn’t hit into a double play. Instead on a 1-0 count Avila took the pitch from Cleveland closer Chris Perez the opposite way to put the Tigers up by a score of 4-2.
That is all the Tigers would need as Benoit came in to slam the door in the Cleveland ninth sealing the victory for the Tigers. The win extends their winning streak to 9 games and their lead in the Central division to 4 over the Indians.
John Keating of Fox Sports tried to get Avila to gloat about his clutch dinger during an on the field interview but Avila wouldn’t take the bait saying he couldn’t get caught up in the emotion because “we still had to get three more outs against a good team.”
Avila has taken quite a bit of criticism from fans this season. However if he can keep getting clutch hits down the stretch he will be loved by the fans for it, no matter what his batting average is. Brandon Inge proved that.