Hunter's all-out effort leaves him banged up, but OK
Right fielder hits wall, tumbles into bullpen trying to preserve Game 2 lead
BOSTON -- Torii Hunter flipped over the fence, got the wind knocked out of him and drew some blood on the back of his head as he tried to rob what ended up being the game-tying grand slam by David Ortiz in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Sunday night.
But Hunter got right back up and stayed in the game -- and he isn't even thinking about missing any time.
"That's all you can do, just keep fighting, keep battling," Hunter said after the Tigers' crushing 6-5, walk-off loss at Fenway Park. "I'll put some ice on it and some Robitussin or something later."
Hunter has made a career out of robbing home runs, but he was about an inch shy of taking away the Ortiz shot that will go down as one of the greatest in postseason history. The 38-year-old right fielder -- formerly known as "Spider-Man" for his home-run-robbing ways -- sprinted to his right, but momentarily lost the ball in the lights and had to cork-screw to his left at the last second to try to make the catch.
At that point, Hunter's lower back hit the top of the short right-field fence and caused him to forcefully flip over the top, prompting spectators to signal for the Tigers' training staff while the Red Sox's bullpen catcher had the ball in his glove.
"It was all or nothing," Hunter said. "I couldn't believe that happened."
Asked how close he came to catching that ball, Hunter added: "I don't remember. I went up, lost it in the lights for a second, then I saw it, tried to give a last effort, and next thing you know, I was flipping over the fence."
Hunter said he has some bruises, particularly on his side, but didn't sound like he believed he was nursing anything serious. Fellow outfielders Austin Jackson and Don Kelly went to check on Hunter as soon as he fell, as did several members of the Red Sox's bullpen, and Hunter had a scratch on the back of his head that was bleeding.
But he stayed in, ultimately flying out to end the top of the ninth.
"I'd die on the field for this," Hunter said. "You're not going to take me off this field."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.