Coco Coco Crisp celebrates with his A's teammates after a game-winning RBI single. (US Presswire)
OAKLAND -- Ah, October. That magical, mystical time of year, when the most unexpected, inspirational and Cinderella of stories ... can deflate like a horrible dream.
And so it was late Wednesday when, not long after the Orioles suffered devastating loss to the Yankees, the Athletics, within three outs of signing off for the summer ... delivered another moment for the ages.
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Trailing by two runs and facing Detroit closer Jose Valverde to start the ninth, Josh Reddick, with eight strikeouts in four games, knocked a leadoff single. Josh Donaldson followed with a double and Seth Smith followed with another double.
Game tied. And then untied when Coco Crisp, one of Tuesday's heroes, helped himself to another dose of glory with a two-out, run-scoring single to deliver Oakland a thrilling 4-3 victory.
It was wild, it was rowdy and, oh my, here comes Game 5.
How do you explain this stuff that Oakland keeps doing?
Detroit was three outs from winning. Three outs from advancing to a second consecutive AL Championship Series.
Now, an alley fight stands between the Tigers and another stab at playing for a chance to advance to their first World Series since 2006.
This ending was as quick, sudden and shocking as so many others authored by Oakland in this dream season. Max Scherzer was terrific for four innings, and then worked into the sixth to set the Tigers up to win.
Octavio Dotel, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque, Joaquin Benoit and, finally, Valverde followed him to the mound. And all but Valverde kept the A's in check.
And then, Oakland was unleashed.