Walk-off slam brings back memories for Jones

Walk-off slam brings back memories for Jones

DETROIT -- The Tigers have had eight walk-off grand slams since 1938. Jeff Jones has a vivid memory of two of them.

He was the Tigers' pitching coach for Rajai Davis' game-ending drive to left Monday night to beat the A's. And he was the opposing pitcher who threw the ball Lance Parrish hit out on July 10, 1983.

Jones remembers that one like it was yesterday, too.

"I knew it as soon as the ball left my hand," Jones recalled.

That was about the only thing that went as expected for Jones that Sunday afternoon at Tiger Stadium. He was on track on start for the A's the next evening in Baltimore, if they didn't need him to pitch beforehand. When starter Chris Codiroli took a 3-0 lead and a two-hit shutout bid into the ninth inning, Jones' start looked safe.

An Alan Trammell walk and Lou Whitaker single brought the potential tying run to the plate and brought A's manager Steve Boros out for a pitching change. Neither of the two relievers who followed retired the batter they faced, and a catching error rescued Whitaker from a pickoff at second base.

With the bases loaded, including Jack Morris pinch-running for John Wockenfuss at third base, on came Jones to face Parrish. Two pitches later, he left a cutter over the plate, and Parrish drilled it out.

"It was way up in the upper deck," Jones said.

Jones did not start the next night in Baltimore. He ended up entering the game out of the bullpen anyway -- in the first inning.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.