"That will go down as one of my favorite wins of all time," Leyland said Friday, a day after Torii Hunter delivered a three-run walk-off homer. "That was exciting. It didn't look too good for the old home team."
It wasn't just the turnaround in the game, however, that made it one of his favorites. It was the way his team responded after being roughed up for 3 1/2 games in the series against the A's, down 6-1 after five innings Thursday before rallying to avoid a sweep.
"The way we got our butts kicked for three days, it looked like we were going to get our butts kicked again," Leyland said. "I think that says a lot for your team when you just got your fanny beat and you could've said, 'You know what, it just wasn't our four days. We'll take our beating and try to get ready for Cleveland.'
"But they didn't do that. They hung in there and played it out and played nine innings and pulled a game out that we probably shouldn't have won. That was a very impressive game to me. You could tell on the bench, too, the guys were into it. Nobody gave up. Nobody thought we didn't have a chance."
The five-run comeback was the biggest of the season for Detroit. The four-run ninth inning tied their season best from Aug. 5 in Cleveland.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.