Legend of Akil Baddoo grows with ninth-inning grand slam

Baddoo provides late highlight in Detroit Tigers’ blowout loss

Akil Baddoo #60 of the Detroit Tigers rounds the bases after hitting his first major league home run against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on April 4, 2021, in Detroit, Michigan. (2021 Getty Images)

DETROIT – On Easter, Detroit Tigers rookie Akil Baddoo blasted the first pitch of his major league career over the left field fence. In his second game, he decided to make it a grand slam.

Baddoo was the talk of spring training after the Tigers selected him in the Rule 5 draft. He wasn’t expected to make the roster because he’d never played a game above High-A ball, but his spring performance left the Tigers no choice.

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Manager A.J. Hinch gave Baddoo the start in center field Monday, saying if someone hits a home run, they deserve to start the next day.

Well, I guess Baddoo will be in the lineup again Tuesday (update: nope). He came up with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and smashed a Randy Dobnak offering into the bullpen for a grand slam.

Detroit was down 15-2 at the time, so this home run certainly wasn’t as dramatic as his first. But still, it was another “wow” moment for the 22-year-old.

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In addition to the grand slam, Baddoo also hit a line drive single to center field and stole his first base of the season after reaching on a dropped third strike.

By the way, when the Tigers selected Baddoo in the Rule 5 draft, they took him away from the Twins.


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