VIDEO: Dirks' slide wins game for Tigers — 'That's the way the game's supposed to be played'
“That’s probably one of the biggest slides of the year, right there,” said Rick Porcello, who was on the hook for the loss before his teammates took him off. “That won us the game.”
The eighth-inning rally started when Delmon Young beat out a ricocheting infield single with one out and his pinch runner, Don Kelly, swiped second. Dirks singled to left, but the Tigers did not test Alex Gordon’s arm.
It was Dirks’ take-out slide at second, though, that allowed the go-ahead run to score, when Peralta’s one-hopper down the third-base line looked like a sure inning-ending double play.
“Dirks made that play happen. With Peralta running, we are always going to go for the double play there, and we had it, but Dirks busted his tail to get down there and break it up,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He got a great job and he went in aggressively and cleanly. That’s just a great play.”
Dirks’ slide disrupted Royals second baseman Irving Falu, who lept in the air to avoid the sliding base runner, and came down with the ball still in his hand.
It was just a matter of a guy who professes to be “just a ballplayer” playing the game hard, the right way.
“I was on him pretty good. I’m not even sure where I hit him. I haven’t even seen the replay. I was just trying to get a piece of him. Maybe a little forearm in the knee or something like that,” said Dirks, who didn’t know whether he’d kept Falu from making the throw or not. “When he came back down with the ball, and the crowd went nuts, then I realized he didn’t throw it. Or if he did, it’s in the dugout somewhere.”