Oakland, Calif. — Torii Hunter didn’t like the location of the pitch.
In turn, the crowd of 48,292 at the Oakland Coliseum didn’t like Hunter not liking the location of the pitch.
And you know what that means when you’re playing a postseason game on the road in front of a full house, of course.
Boos for the batter.
That’s OK. As a veteran, Hunter knows how to deflect the noise, maybe even how to turn it into a positive.
But he also discovered during Game 2 of the Tigers’ Division Series on Saturday night, which they lost 1-0, that A’s rookie starter Sonny Gray has the same transformational talent.
“I tried to get into his head,” Hunter said about his wave to the mound after the inside pitch, “but it didn’t work.
“The ball came up and in at the head. I don’t mind pitching in. It’s part of the game, but pitching at the head I really don’t like.
“They did it yesterday, they did it again today. I was upset, so I tried to get in his head, telling him to get the ball down. But I think I (ticked) him off instead.”
Gray, in fact, said it did.
“It got me fired up a little bit,” he said after his eight shutout innings. “It did. Torii is known as a really great guy, and he’s been one of my favorite players.
“But after that, I had a little extra adrenaline — and still was able to locate the ball.”