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Prince Fielder had a big day for the Tigers in Thursday afternoon's win against the Mariners. Not only did he collect three hits, he made an impressive scoop on defense while ranging into foul territory. Check out the above video from MLB.com.
Yes, you saw that correctly. Fielder didn't catch that fifth-inning foul ball off the bat of Seattle's Mike Zunino, but after running out of room and pulling up to the railing, he helped himself to a nacho belonging to a man in a Tigers jersey. He scarfed it down as he returned to his position.
Fielder is often the butt of jokes because of his weight, which is listed at 275 pounds, and an antic like that won't alter the perception of him. He's in the midst of an off year; his .283/.365/.463 line with 24 homers is well off last year's .313/.412/.528 mark with 30 homers, but for the fourth year out of five, he hasn't missed a game, and he's been on fire in September (.400/437/.631).
On Thursday, he hit a pair of doubles off Seattle starter James Paxton in the third and fifth innings, the first of which helped the Tigers take a 3-1 lead, and his RBI single in the eighth off Charlie Furbush tied the score at 4-4. Victor Martinez followed by doubling him home with what proved to be the game-winning run; the throw beat Fielder but he eluded Zunino as he slid home ( though the last replay in that video suggests perhaps not). Would he have had the energy to score had he not eaten that extra nacho? We'll never know.
What we do know is that the win enabled the Tigers (89-64) to lower their magic number to clinch the AL Central to four. They're 6 1/2 games ahead of the Indians (82-70) with nine games to play. They're also only half a game behind the A's (89-63) for the league's second-best record and thus home field advantage in the Division Series.