OAKLAND -- Detroit Tigers pinch runner Rajai Davis' daring steal of third in the eighth inning, which placed him in position to score the game-deciding run, remained a hot topic Wednesday, a day after the Tigers beat the A's 6-5 in the second game of their four-game series.
Davis broke for third when A's catcher Derek Norris returned the ball to reliever Fernando Abad after a pitch to Nick Castellanos in Tuesday's game. Davis reached third without a throw. He scored to break a 5-5 tie later in the inning.
Norris credited Davis with "smart baserunning" and for doing his homework.
"Thinking back, if I could play it all over again, I would have pump-faked," Norris said before Wednesday night's game. "But I didn't feel like I lobbed the ball back, I didn't feel like I took my sweet time. I just did the things I always do; I caught the ball and threw it back to the pitcher.
"He, obviously, had been watching over the course of a game and a half or whatever it was. He was aggressive, made a good baserunning play and got to third."
A's manager Bob Melvin said that wasn't the first time he saw a runner make such a bold dash in an effort to advance 90 feet.
"Not very often, but I've seen it several times over the years," Melvin said.
Everyone seemed quicker to credit Davis for a heads-up play than to criticize Norris or Abad.
Norris said he's "100 percent" certain that Abad would have nailed Davis before he reached third if he had heard his teammates' warnings about Davis taking off above the crowd noise.
"It would have been close," Melvin said, "if both pitcher and catcher had of been a little bit more aware of the situation. It was a risk, and (Davis) was rewarded for it."
Melvin played catcher during his major league career. So, was he ever part of a similar situation?
"That would slip my memory," Melvin said, with a laugh. "Actually, I would remember that. I don't recall that."
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