5/28/2014 9:00 P.M. ET
Davis' delayed steal catches everyone by surprise
By Rick Eymer / Special to MLB.com
OAKLAND -- Rajai Davis' delayed steal in the eighth inning was a result of a perfect situation.
"It wasn't a lob. It was kind of a perfect storm," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "The pitch was close. The pitcher was a little, I don't want to say upset, but he kind of wished he had gotten the call. So he was a little bit mad about that, put his head down.
"The crowd didn't react real loud. It wasn't like there was a big roar that would make him look up," Ausmus said. "So it ended up being kind of a perfect story. I think the entire stadium put their head down collectively after the pitch was called. Except for Raj, and then he took off."
Davis said he'd likely put the move on the backburner for a year or so.
"One upside is we're on the West Coast so a lot of people slept through it and didn't see it," Ausmus said. "Everyone was asleep. Half the country was asleep. They didn't see it."
Knebel settling in after quick trip up to Majors
OAKLAND -- Tigers right-hander Corey Knebel, drafted in 2013, made his Major League debut less than a week ago.
Considering he was pitching at the University of Texas at this time last year, his trip to the big leagues may seem like a blink of the eye.
Entering action Wednesday, Knebel has made two appearances for the Tigers. He gave up three runs in one inning against the Texas Rangers on Saturday, but he then followed that up with two scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics on Monday.
Perhaps he wasn't as star-struck by his opponents the second time around.
"[Adrian] Beltre was one of the guys I faced," Knebel said. "I grew up playing video games with these guys. It's my first time, and here I am facing guys I had been playing with in video games."
Knebel, 22, barely got his feet wet with Triple-A Toledo before getting the call to help a depleted bullpen. He appeared in three games, throwing four scoreless innings, with the Mud Hens after he was promoted from Double-A Erie, where he started the season.
"I was much more relaxed this last time," Knebel said. "This time it didn't matter who was up, I was just facing a hitter."
The A's already led, 6-0, when Knebel entered the game. His approach was as if the game were tied.
"Every run counts," he said. "I went in there trying to put up zeroes so we'd have a chance to come back. I went in to see if I could throw strikes and blank everything else out."
Hunter keeps coming through with clutch homers
OAKLAND -- Torii Hunter did more than just get Tuesday night starter Max Scherzer off the hook for a loss -- he helped lift the Tigers to a badly needed win when he hit a solo home run in the seventh to tie the game.
That's nothing new for Hunter, who has hit a game-tying or go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later 23 times in his career.
"I love pressure situations," he said. "I always want to be at the plate in the ninth inning, two strikes. Even if I fail, at least I had the chance."
Jackson gets night off, hopes to warm up in May
OAKLAND -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said outfielder Austin Jackson was just getting a game off Wednesday. After batting .310 in April, Jackson has had a rough go during May, entering Wednesday night batting .217 in the month.
"I just think April was a better month offensively," Ausmus said. "I don't think May is indicative of the type of player he's going to be over the six-month season."
Jackson, who drove in the winning run Tuesday night, has hit consistently well throughout the season, with a high of .297 in June and a low of .266 in September and October.
"There's really nothing gross that he's doing," said Ausmus. "He's just in a little bit of a funk. I don't think he's expanding the zone."
Jackson has pretty good numbers for May in his career, with the 28 doubles his best of any month and being successful in all 15 of his stolen-base attempts in the month.
Rick Eymer is contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.