DETROIT -- Stealing bases in a blowout game with the outcome decided is one thing, manager Jim Leyland likes to say. Stealing them in a close game is another.
Stealing bases when everyone expects it is yet another.
That's what Quintin Berry did on Thursday in the 11th inning with the score tied, as the pickoff throws and pitchout preceding the steal proved.
"It's tough," Berry said on Thursday, "but you've got to take those little windows that you get. I'm going to give everything that I got. I'm not playing every day, so I've got a lot of energy built up, so I'm going to try to put all that into one play for them. I'm just glad we were able to get it."
Berry had entered the game as a pinch-runner. Whether that becomes a primary role for him, especially now that Andy Dirks is getting the vast majority of starts in left field against right-handed pitching, remains to be seen, but it would certainly be playing to a strength.
So far Berry is 17-for-17 stealing bases in the big leagues. Five of those stolen bases have come in the seventh inning or later in either a one-run game, tied contest or with the tying run on deck, according to baseball-reference.com.