Mar 31, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers short stop Alex Gonzalez (center) is swarmed by teammates after hitting a walk off hits an RBI single against the Kansas City Royals in the ninth inning of an opening day baseball game at Comerica Park. Detroit won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Opening Day: Detroit Tigers Walk-off Win Makes Trader Dave Look Smart....Again


It is really a wonder why any of us bother to question Dave Dombrowski anymore.  Whenever Trader Dave makes a deal that can be criticized the player he acquired goes out and proves everyone wrong.

That was the case today as the recently acquired Alex Gonzalez drove in both the game tying and game winning runs to life the Tigers over the Royals 4-3.

The Tigers were down by 2 runs most as the game entered the bottom of the seventh. By the way James Shields was dealing it looked as if the Royals might win their first opening day in 6 years. But a two-out triple by Alex Gonzalez capped a seventh inning rally and tied the game at 3.

Then lightning struck again with one out in the 9th when Alex Gonzalez knocked in Tyler Collins from third to give the Tigers a 4-3 win. It was the Royals sixth opening day loss in a row and the first for James Shields in 7 starts at Comerica Park.

Gonzalez came to the Tigers from Baltimore to fill the void left by the injured Jose Iglesias. The move was reportedly made on the word of fielding coach Omar Vizquel. Vizquel coached Gonzalez in winter ball and thought he could still play. Now after his career looked finished Gonzalez had a strong spring and looks poised to revive his career here in Detroit.

The walk-off single was the 7th such hit in Gonzalez’ career.  After all of these years the aging shortstop asked how this one compared.

I don’t remember. It’s a lot of Opening Days,” Gonzalez said. “But today was something special. I’m proud to be in Detroit, first game, hit a walk-off. It’s great. I feel great.”

Granted it is early in the season but it seems like Dombrwoski has found a way yet again to plug a hole at shortstop through trades. He did it a few years ago by acquiring Jhonny Peralta and last year with Jose Iglesias. Could Alex Gonzalez be the next player we hold out as an example of Dombrowski’s greatness? No matter what your opinion is, one thing is certain, A-Gon is off to a good start.

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Tags: Detroit Tigers

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