DETROIT -- There's no way of knowing whether or not Josh Reddick would have caught Victor Martinez' seventh-inning, opposite-field home run that tied Tuesday's American League Division Series game 4-4. But the A's right fielder had a strong opinion on the play that swung momentum in favor of Detroit during its 8-6 Game 4 win at Comerica Park.
"I had no doubt that I was gonna be able to catch the ball," Reddick said. "Looking at the replay after the game, it was heading right for my glove. So you can understand the frustration, especially with the situation in the game."
Center fielder Coco Crisp put the A's ahead 4-3 with an RBI single in the top of the seventh, but Martinez tied the game in the bottom half
Leading off for the Tigers, Martinez smacked an 0-1 outside fastball just over the yellow line atop the right field wall. Reddick leapt and would have at least had a chance to make the catch, but at least one fan got their hands on the ball before it fell back onto the warning track. It was ruled a home run on the field and remained as such following a video review. Crew chief Gary Darling said after the game the officiating crew did not believe Reddick would have made the play.
"It was clear he was not going to catch the ball, so it was clearly going to be a home run. There wasn't any other evidence on replay to turn it another way," Darling said.
Some in the A's clubhouse saw it differently.
"Knowing him, going back on the ball I felt like he had a chance to possibly rob it," Crisp said. "But, home field advantage, you've got the fans there and they're gonna reach out and that plays in their favor. It's unfortunate, (but) it's the way the game goes."
Jhonny Peralta followed Martinez' home run with a double down the left field line and later scored on an Austin Jackson broken-bat single to shallow right field, giving Detroit a 5-4 lead entering the top of the eighth.
"It changed the momentum for them, changed the momentum for us, and they seemed to feed off that," Reddick said. "Absolutely frustrating that a fan can change the outcome of the game."
A's manager Bob Melvin also said he thinks Reddick had a chance to make the grab if not for the fans in right field.
"It looked like (it), and Reddick's reaction was that he thought he could have potentially caught it," Melvin said. "The explanation was it was over the yellow line and it wasn't fan interference, even though I guess a fan touched it."
The umpires only took a few minutes to review the play, and the Comerica crowd erupted once Darling made the defining home run signal.
Tigers right fielder Tori Hunter said he later
"I told them, 'Hey, good job. Way to go, baby.' " Hunter said. "Those are our fans and I'm excited they reached over and caught the ball before (Reddick) did."
Reddick said he will put the incident out of his mind as the A's prepare for a decisive Game 5 Thursday in Oakland. But he remains "100 percent" confident he would have made the catch.
"Nothing I can do but be mad and upset at the fan that actually did it," Reddick said. "I just hope Victor Martinez pays him some money for it."