Dwayne Murphy of the Oakland A's celebrated Steve Boros Day in Detroit yesterday by hitting a grand slam off Dan Petry to help rout the Tigers, 11-4.
Kelvin Moore's two homers helped, too, and so did the A's portable computer.
Oakland came into the game with a 1-6 record on this road trip and Manager Boros was considering some changes. Murphy's average was down to .172 so "'we were going to drop Murphy from fourth to fifth in our batting order," Boros, a former Tigers third baseman, said. "We thought maybe the pressure of batting cleanup was getting to him.
"However, I went back and looked at my computer readouts and saw that Murphy had gone four for nine against Petry while fourth last year. So, I decided to leave him right there."
So cleanup hitter Murphy was the man who came to bat in the fifth inning with the bass loaded and the score tied, 4-4. Petry was still pitching for Detroit.
"The whole series they've been throwing me fast balls," Murphy said. "But I haven't been able to hit them.
"When I saw that ball go out, a whole lot of pressure went off. It was something we needed, man. We've been struggling so long."
Boros is from Flint, Mich., about 50 miles north of Detroit. His son Mike, 12, was the A's batboy for the fame, prompting his father to say, "Maybe we should take Mike back to Oakland with us."