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Alfonso Soriano | LF |Chicago Cubs
It didn't take Alfonso Soriano long to get back into the swing of things after an injury-marred month of August. In fact, Soriano occasionally carried the Cubs down the stretch. Look no further than his 12 September homers, a total that ranks him second in franchise history, next to only Ernie Banks, who hit 13 in the final month of 1957. The most crucial shot came on Sept. 15, when the left fielder launched a late game-winning, two-run homer to sink the Cardinals in St. Louis. And in his finest showing on Sept. 23, Soriano had a pair of homers and five RBIs in a 9-5 win over Pittsburgh. Watch the highlights >





Alex Rodriguez
3B | New York Yankees
What a difference a month makes. After taking a good deal of flak from fans and media over his lackluster 2006 postseason, Rodriguez bounced back in a big way during the opening month of 2007, seemingly coming through in every clutch opportunity.
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APRIL NOMINEE
Mark Buehrle
P | Chicago White Sox
All the White Sox needed was a win on April 18 to snap a three-game losing streak. Mark Buehrle exceeded those hopes as he fired a no-hitter against a respectable Rangers offense, much to the pleasure of a frenzied home crowd at U.S. Cellular Field. It was the first no-hitter by a White Sox pitcher since Wilson Alvarez in 1991, and the 16th in franchise history. Buehrle kept the momentum flowing with his third consecutive quality start on April 23.
APRIL NOMINEE
Prince Fielder
1B | Milwaukee Brewers
Prince Fielder could more appropriately be called "Mr. Extra Innings" for his work in April, as he delivered two game-winning RBIs in extras for the Brew Crew. First he capped a 4-for-4 day with an RBI single to sink the Marlins in 13 innings on April 3. His second game-winner, at Wrigley Field on April 23, was more dramatic, as he blasted a solo homer in the 12th after already cranking a game-tying shot in the eighth. Topping it off, the outburst improved Fielder's slugging percentage to 1.308 when batting late in close games.
APRIL NOMINEE
Roy Halladay
P | Toronto Blue Jays
On any other day, throwing nine innings probably would have earned the Tigers' Jeremy Bonderman a win. On April 13, though, the Blue Jays' Roy Halladay hurled one for the history books, tossing a career-high 10 innings to down the defending American League champs, 2-1. True to his ace form, Halladay held the mighty Red Sox and Tigers to a 3.15 ERA in three April starts, good for a 2-0 record.
APRIL NOMINEE
Tim Hudson
P | Atlanta Braves
Not only did Braves right-hander Tim Hudson string together three wins in his first four starts, each victory was against a National League East rival. His finest start was against the defending division-champion Mets on April 20. Facing one of baseball's best offenses in front of a hostile crowd at Shea Stadium, Hudson threw eight scoreless innings of five-hit ball, snapping a Mets' three-game winning streak while lowering his ERA down to an unconscious 0.62.
APRIL NOMINEE
Placido Polanco
2B | Detroit Tigers
Among the scrappiest players on both sides of the field, Placido Polanco exemplified leadership in the opening month. Keying the Tigers' comeback on April 17, Polanco drilled a solo homer, scored the tying run and singled home the game-winning run to down Kansas City, 7-6. His second game-winning single came with even more on the line. Amid a three-game Tigers' losing streak on April 22, Polanco sent the arch-rival White Sox home packing with two outs in the 12th inning. As April came to a close, the second baseman ranked among the top American League hitters and defenders with a .360 batting average and no errors.
Ken Griffey Jr.
RF | Reds
After missing four straight starts to end April, Ken Griffey Jr. quieted critics with a resurgent May. Among the month's best hitters, Griffey helped the Reds and his place in the record books by drilling 10 homers to move past Harmon Killebrew for eighth place on the career list. His overall output -- 15 runs, 21 RBIs and .403 on-base percentage -- contributed to key wins against Houston on May 1 and May 10 and vs. Washington in an 8-7 win on May 21. Griffey's biggest hit was reserved for May 15, when the right fielder snapped Cincinnati's four-game losing streak with a game-winning, 12th-inning home run at San Diego.
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MAY NOMINEE
Fausto Carmona
SP | Indians
An injury to Jake Westbrook could have been a problem for the Indians' rotation, but Fausto Carmona filled in beautifully. Recalled from Triple-A Buffalo On May 7, Carmona rose to the occasion by going 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA from then on, helping to prop Cleveland atop the AL Central standings with a May 27 win against division-rival Detroit. His outstanding run peaked on May 17, when the 23-year-old right-hander outdueled Twins ace Johan Santana for the SECOND time this year in a four-hit, complete-game shutout.
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MAY NOMINEE
Jack Cust
DH | A's
Acquired in a Minor League deal to replace injured slugger Mike Piazza, Jack Cust erupted on arrival in Oakland. He began by going yard in his A's debut, then went on to blast eight home runs in his first 13 games with the club, including a monstrous three-run walkoff shot on May 13 vs. Cleveland to give him an incredible 12 RBIs over a four-game stretch. The 28-year-old designated hitter also slugged a decisive three-run homer during a 4-2 win against the Bay Area-rival Giants, further minimizing the loss of Piazza.
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MAY NOMINEE
Cole Hamels
SP | Phillies
Not only did Cole Hamels out-pitch most starters in May, he did so when it mattered most. Two of his Major League-leading five wins this past month came against the division-rival Braves. Emerging as a stopper amid Philadelphia's struggles, Hamels nearly delivered a perfect game with 11 strikeouts against the red-hot Brewers on May 16, an outing that brought his team back up to .500. In just his second season, the 23-year-old left-hander paced the National League with 49 whiffs in May.
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MAY NOMINEE
Felipe Lopez
2B | Nationals
Felipe Lopez quite possibly enjoyed the biggest game of May. On May 22 at Cincinnati, he broke a scoreless contest with a third-inning RBI double, tied it with a fifth-inning groundout, and topped it off with a dramatic, game-winning grand slam to single-handedly give Washington an 8-4 win. Beyond that, Lopez laced a game-winning RBI triple vs. the Braves on May 17 and contributed with a key RBI in a 4-3 win over regional rival Baltimore on May 20.
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MAY NOMINEE
Josh Willingham
LF | Marlins
An unlikely hero, Willingham stepped forth as one of Florida's best hitters in May. His laundry list of big games began on May 1, when he keyed a 5-2 win over the NL East-rival Mets by driving in five runs, and continued when he ripped a game-tying solo homer in a 5-4 win on May 4. Willingham only picked up steam from there, with two game-winning hits. The first -- and most theatrical -- was a walk-off three-run shot to down the Dodgers on May 10. Pittsburgh then caught Willingham's wrath on May 16, when he roped an RBI double in the eighth inning.
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Chone Figgins
3B | Angels
The diminutive utilityman is a huge reason for the Angels' winning ways this month. Putting paltry May production behind him, he's batting .444 with 15 RBIs and leads the Majors with 13 steals in June, including three swipes in a comeback win at St. Louis on June 8. He went absolutely ballistic on June 18 vs. the Cardinals by going 6-for-6 with a go-ahead RBI in the second, a game-tying RBI infield single in the seventh, and a walk-off RBI triple in the ninth. All in all, he finished a homer short of the cycle in a 10-9 win.
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JUNE NOMINEE
Alex Rodriguez
3B | Yankees
Just another month for A-Rod, who leads the Majors with 32 RBIs in June, including nine combined in a June 5-7 series sweep of the White Sox. He is also batting .436 with nine long balls. On June 3 at division rival Boston, he had two RBIs, including a dramatic game-winning solo homer in the ninth inning. … On June 23, he launched a game-tying ninth-inning homer in a 6-5 loss at San Francisco. … On June 10 vs. the Pirates, he hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the fourth inning, followed by a two-run homer in his ensuing at-bat.
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JUNE NOMINEE
C.C. Sabathia
P | Indians
Sabathia has defined the term ace this month, leading the Majors with 41 1/3 innings in June, having thrown eight or more innings in three starts. He notched back-to-back complete games vs. the Royals on June 5 and the Reds on June 10. Both of his wins came after Indians losses. He had put together a 2.18 ERA.
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JUNE NOMINEE
Ichiro Suzuki
CF | Mariners
Typical Ichiro, the Mariners center fielder is batting .411 with 15 runs scored and eight steals. … On June 4 and 5, he had back-to-back game-winning RBI doubles in 7-4 and 5-4 wins, respectively, against the Orioles. He also homered on June 4. … Ichiro played a pivotal part in an Interleague series sweep at San Diego. On June 10, his game-tying two-run single in seventh inning helped cap a 4-3 win. … One day earlier vs. the Padres, he sparked a 6-5 come-from-behind win in the seventh inning with a two-run double. … He also had a game-tying RBI single in a 9-8 loss to the Rangers.
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JUNE NOMINEE
Troy Tulowitzki
SS | Rockies
Living up to his advanced billing, Tulowitzki showed poise beyond his years this month with seven RBIs close and late. In a 7-6 win over the Astros on June 7, he capped a three-run rally in the bottom of ninth with a walk-off single, after already ripping a two-run homer in the sixth to bring the Rockies within two runs. … He played a pivotal part in the final game of a sweep vs. the Yanks. On June 21, he went 3-for-4 with a game-tying homer. … On June 25, he cranked a huge go-ahead three-run homer in the ninth to give the Rox a 9-8 lead over the Cubs, though the Rockies lost, 10-9. … He broke a tie with a go-ahead two-run homer in the 10th inning, but the Rox squandered an 8-6 lead in the bottom of the frame.
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JUNE NOMINEE
Justin Verlander
P | Tigers
On June 12 against first-place Milwaukee, Justin Verlander threw the sixth no-hitter in the 107-year history of the Tigers, and the first for the team since 1984. It was a dominant performance for the 24-year old right-hander, who struck out a career-high 12 and allowed just three balls in play out of the infield in a 4-0 win. Verlander's fastball reached 101 mph in the ninth. The 2006 American League Rookie of the Year won his first four starts in June with a 1.24 ERA, recently fanning 11 Braves batters on June 23.
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Aramis Ramirez
3B | Cubs
No slugger was more crucial to the Cubs' winning ways than Ramirez, who left an injury-plagued June behind him by plugging away for 20 RBIs in July. With his team trailing 2-1 vs. the Giants on July 16, Ramirez roped a game-winning two-run double in the eighth inning. Again playing the hero on July 24, Ramirez went 4-for-5 with the decisive go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning of a 4-3 win over the Cardinals. He also shouldered the load on July 20, with a three-run homer and game-tying RBI single in a win over Arizona, and delivered a pair of RBIs in a 9-8 win over the Giants on July 19. Watch the highlights > Read More >
JULY NOMINEE
Erik Bedard
P | Orioles
If baseball fans hadn't heard of Bedard entering July, he was difficult to ignore as the month came to a close. Becoming a bona fide stopper, Bedard notched three of his four July wins after Orioles' losses. His masterful outing on July 7 was one for the ages, as Baltimore's ace struck out 15 in a two-hit complete-game shutout in Texas. The coming-of-age lefty also overpowered Oakland on July 20 by fanning 11 in seven frames. (through the 27th) All in all, July saw Bedard go 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA and pace all pitchers with 46 punchouts to widen his big-league lead on the season.
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JULY NOMINEE
Ryan Garko
1B | Indians
Bouncing back from a disappointing month of June, Garko kept Cleveland in playoff contention with a .429 batting average (through July 26), including a whopping 17-game hitting streak, in July. His finest hour came against the division-rival White Sox on July 17, when the young slugger unleashed a game-tying, two-run homer in the ninth inning, and later tacked on a walkoff single in the 11th frame. That wasn't Garko's only walkoff hit of July. He sent the Royals home empty-handed on July 13 with another RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to win 5-4.
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JULY NOMINEE
Ryan Howard
1B | Phillies
If RBIs define leadership for hitters, then consider Howard head honcho of July. Through July 26th, the reigning NL MVP had RBIs in all but three of the Phillies' 11 wins in July. He topped the Majors by driving in 28 runs, sat tied atop the NL leaderboard with nine homers and put up a monster 1.262 OPS. Howard's most dramatic hit came on July 25, when the sweet-swinging lefty launched a walkoff two-run homer to sink Washington, 7-5, in the 14th inning. Even when the Phillies lost 5-4 on July 3 at Houston and July 18 at Los Angeles, Howard did his part by belting game-tying hits in each game.
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JULY NOMINEE
Brandon Phillips
2B | Reds
Two grand slams highlighted a memorable month for Phillips. His first bases-clearing homer broke a 3-3 tie with San Francisco on July 3, and he also provided the fatal blow in a 7-3 Cincinnati victory. His second slam came on July 13, when he drove in a total of six runs to lead the Reds to a 8-4 win over the Mets. Even beyond the two grannys, Phillips turned in a spectacular all-around performance on July 18. Not only did he save the Reds from defeat by making a leaping catch to start a double play, which ended the 10th inning, Phillips laced the game-winning two-run single in the 15th inning to down the Braves in Atlanta. Watch the highlights >
Andy Pettitte | P | Yankees
The Yankees' reliable left-hander won all six of his starts in August, and the most emphatic moment came after he struck out David Ortiz in the sixth inning of his Aug. 28 win over the rival Red Sox. Pettitte pumped his fist and emphatically shouted "Come on!" to no one in particular. At that moment, it seemed like he was carrying the Bombers. His month started with victories over the White Sox at home and then at Toronto, and then came the four consecutive decisions against powerhouse contenders: Indians, Tigers, Angels and Red Sox. The No. 46 that Yankee fans saw in August was certainly the one they remember from glory days past. Watch the highlights >
AUGUST NOMINEE
Garret Anderson
LF | Angels
Of any game played in August, none stood out more than Garret Anderson's 10-RBI performance against the Yankees on Aug. 21. By launching a grand slam, a three-run homer and a pair of doubles, the Angels veteran fell one RBI shy of tying the American League record set by Tony Lazerri of the Yankees in 1936. It led to the Angels' third straight win, securing their place atop the AL West standings. Before that outburst, Anderson contributed three RBIs to a 4-3 victory over Oakland on Aug. 5, including a game-tying shot and a go-ahead knock. Through Aug. 27, he sat among the top AL run producers with 22 RBIs. Watch the highlights >
AUGUST NOMINEE
Carlos Guillen
SS |Tigers
Carlos Guillen brought his "A" game when tensions ran high in August -- especially against the Yankees. In a game delayed by roughly four hours due to rain on Aug. 24, Carlos Guillen cranked a dramatic walkoff three-run homer at 3:30 AM, ET, to down the Yankees, 9-6. The unheralded Tigers shortstop also gave the Bombers fits on Aug. 15 at Yankee Stadium by belting a grand slam in a pivotal 8-5 win. Other notable achievements include a game-tying solo homer Aug. 6 in a 6-4 victory over Tampa Bay, along with another solo shot on Aug. 21 to help edge arch-rival Cleveland, 2-1.
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AUGUST NOMINEE
Chipper Jones
3B | Braves
While Mark Teixeira quickly became the toast of Atlanta, it was Chipper Jones who quietly collected the team's biggest hits in August. Perhaps the most dramatic shot came on Aug. 14, when the seasoned switch-hitter slugged a walkoff double in a 5-4 home win over SF. Or maybe it was Aug. 7, when he launched a huge go-ahead three-run homer to help take the series finale against arch-rival Mets. Whether those were his finest moments of August, the go-ahead two-run homer on Aug. 5 vs. Colorado or the five-RBI performance he put up against Cincinnati on Aug. 23, Chipper cemented Atlanta's place as a force to be reckoned with in the NL. Watch the highlights >
AUGUST NOMINEE
Jake Peavy
P | Padres
Were it not for Peavy, August might have taken on quite a different look for the Padres. With teammate and fellow ace Chris Young sidelined, Peavy stepped up, recording four wins, no losses and a remarkable 1.38 ERA over five starts. A bona fide stopper, he notched all four of his victories after San Diego losses. The towering right-hander had double-digit strikeouts in three of those outings, including an 11-strikeout performance Aug. 22 vs. the Mets, and a 10-strikeout shutout against division rival Arizona on Aug. 2. And if that weren't enough, Peavy led the league with 42 Ks through Aug. 27.
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AUGUST NOMINEE
Brandon Webb
SP | Diamondbacks
Pitching nine scoreless innings is one thing, but the 42 consecutive scoreless innings Brandon Webb extending his streak to in August was downright historical. It marked the fifth-longest streak since 1940, falling 17 innings shy of Orel Hershiser's big league record of 59 scoreless frames. The reigning NL Cy Young winner threw three straight complete-game shutouts to open August, two of which came against playoff contenders in the Braves and Dodgers. Arizona became top gun in the NL West under Webb's leadership in August, during which he notched wins in each of his four outings for a microscopic 0.53 ERA. Watch the highlights >
Alfonso Soriano
LF | Chicago Cubs
It didn't take Alfonso Soriano long to get back into the swing of things after an injury-marred month of August. In fact, Soriano occasionally carried the Cubs down the stretch. Look no further than his 12 September homers, a total that ranks him second in franchise history, next to only Ernie Banks, who hit 13 in the final month of 1957. The most crucial shot came on Sept. 15, when the left fielder launched a late game-winning, two-run homer to sink the Cardinals in St. Louis. And in his finest showing on Sept. 23, Soriano had a pair of homers and five RBIs in a 9-5 win over Pittsburgh. Watch the highlights >
SEPTEMBER NOMINEE
Josh Beckett
SP | Boston Red Sox
It's almost impossible to talk about Boston’s success this season without mentioning Josh Beckett. With Manny Ramirez down and out, Beckett gave the Red Sox a huge lift in September, winning all four of his starts -- three of which came after team losses -- in dominant fashion (2.25 ERA). He took his game to new heights on Sept. 15, outdueling Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang over seven strong frames in front of Fenway’s Faithful. Strengthening his case for the American League Cy Young Award, Beckett became the season’s first 20-game winner on Sept. 21 after cruising through six innings of work against Tampa Bay. Watch the highlights >
SEPTEMBER NOMINEE
Yovani Gallardo
SP | Milwaukee Brewers
While most of Milwaukee’s pitchers had trouble staying healthy or consistent in September, 21-year-old rookie Yovani Gallardo emerged as an unlikely stopper amid a tight National League Central pennant race. Some 2 ½ months after his first big league promotion, Gallardo showed veteran poise by recording three dominant wins, in which he put together a remarkable scoreless streak of 21 innings. He followed that flawless stint with another quality start against the Braves, giving the hard-throwing right-hander an ERA of 0.64 through four September starts. Watch the highlights >
SEPTEMBER NOMINEE
Matt Holliday
LF | Colorado Rockies
On a mission to keep the Rockies in the playoff hunt, Matt Holliday emerged as a leading National League MVP candidate in September. From Sept. 9-20, in an offensive tear for the ages, he slugged 11 home runs in just 12 games, carrying Colorado to a four-game series sweep over the division-rival Dodgers with crucial wins against postseason competitors in the Phillies and Padres. Holliday also came up big earlier in the month, with a pair of RBIs in a 4-3 win over Arizona on Sept. 2, and ultimately, led the Rockies to a 15-7 record in the season’s final month. Watch the highlights >
SEPTEMBER NOMINEE
Carlos Pena
1B | Tampa Bay Devil Rays
While few people knew of Carlos Pena before the year, it was hard to ignore the sweet-swinging first baseman in September. Capping off an incredible rags-to-riches season, Pena gave Rays fans something to cheer for with several crushing blows against American League rivals and playoff hopefuls. He stroked five go-ahead hits against the Red Sox (twice), Mariners, Blue Jays and Orioles, and delivered two multi-homer games, including a memorable seven-RBI performance in Tampa Bay on Sept. 5. All in all, September saw Pena pound nine home runs, a career high, and drive in a total of 24 runs. Watch the highlights >
SEPTEMBER NOMINEE
C.C. Sabathia
SP | Cleveland Indians
As if developing into an elite starting pitcher wasn’t enough, C.C. Sabathia gave Indians fans something to remember in September. Paving the way for Cleveland’s first American League Central championship in six seasons, Sabathia snagged three key wins in the season's final month. The first came on Sept. 3, when he dealt Minnesota an eight-inning shutout. Sabathia took it one step further next time out, firing a complete-game victory against the AL West champion Angels. His Sept. 19 start took the cake, though, as the ace left-hander practically crushed Detroit’s playoff hopes by delivering a seven-inning gem. And that’s not even mentioning Sabathia's 13-strikeout no-decision against Kansas City on Sept. 14. All in all, the AL Cy Young candidate posted a 2.03 ERA in his first four September starts. Watch the highlights >
MLB CLUTCH PERFORMER OF THE DAY
Monday, Oct. 1, 2007
Jamey Carroll, 3B, Colorado Rockies
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MLB 2006: IN THE CLUTCH, PRESENTED BY PEPSI.
This one-hour special unveils the 2006 All-Clutch team, with behind the scenes access and interviews.
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MLB CLUTCH PERFORMER JUNE NOMINEES
July 7, 2007
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PEPSI CLUTCH PERFORMANCE - Honoring a Legend Ted Williams
June 30, 2007
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June 16, 2007
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PEPSI PRESENTS ERIC CHAVEZ TAKING SOME FAN VOTES
May 26, 2007
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PEPSI'S NEW COMMERICAL WITH JOHNNY DAMON AND JOE MAUER
May 19, 2007
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PEPSI CLUTCH PERFORMER - ALEX RODRIGUEZ
May 12, 2007
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PEPSI CLUTCH PERFORMER CANDIDATES
May 5, 2007
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CLUTCH: DODGERS HIT 4 HOMERS IN A ROW
April 21, 2007
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JACKIE ROBINSON SPECIAL
April 14, 2007
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Oct. 15, 1988

In a moment straight out of a Hollywood movie, an injured Kirk Gibson limped to home plate for a pinch-hit appearance in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, and blasted a two-run home run off Dennis Eckersley to give the Dodgers a 5-4 victory. Gibson didn’t bat again in the Series, but his one big moment gave the Dodgers all the momentum they would need to upset the favored A’s in five games.

Photo Credit: AP
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