Torii Hunter slams into the right-field wall in Fenway Park on Sunday night on David Ortiz's grand slam. (Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)
Detroit — Less than a day after his over-the-wall attempt to catch David Ortiz’s game-tying grand slam, Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter says he’s fine.
Hunter, 38, made a break for the long fly ball off a Joaquin Benoit pitch but ran out of room near the wall, flipping over just as the ball went into the Red Sox bullpen.
“I’m just a little stiff — feel like I played a Sunday Night Football game,” Hunter joked Monday afternoon at Comerica Park. “I woke up a little sore and felt like Fred Sanford, but I’m all right.”
The Red Sox tied the game 5-5 on the grand slam in the eighth inning and they went on to win with a walk-off single in the ninth to tie the American League Championship Series at a game apiece, with the next three games at Comerica Park.
For Hunter, Monday’s off-day provided a chance to regroup physically and recover from the collision with the wall.
“I’m just going to go ahead and get a massage and get some treatment, probably get in the hot tub and loosen up a little bit,” he said. “I’ll be fine; I’m good. We’ve got a day off today, so just enjoy it and give it 24 hours to heal and I’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
Hunter said after viewing the replays that he didn’t get a good sense of how violent the flip over the wall actually was.
“It looked pretty nasty. Your adrenaline is going and you’re just doing whatever it takes to get to the ball and stop that ball from going out of the ballpark,” he said. “I lost my breath and hit the top of the wall when I came over — it hit me in the ribs and I lost my breath.”
With the game on the line, Hunter said he was going all out to try to save the game, but he couldn’t see the ball in the final seconds before it cleared the right-field wall.
“I could have caught the ball. As I was pursuing the ball, I lost the ball in the lights because he hit it on a line — hit it so hard,” he said. “I’m running going into the gap and the ball is in the lights and I saw it and made a last effort to try to get to it. He hit it so hard, it was already past me.
“I did whatever I could — that’s the way you play the game in the postseason — go all out because if I catch that ball, we’re at 2-0. I was going to give it every attempt to go out there and catch that ball. If it takes for me to get knocked out or die on the field, I guess I have to do it.”