Andy Dirks slide breaks up double play as Tigers seize control of division lead (Video)

Kevin Kaduk

Andy Dirks barreled into second base on Wednesday night. A short while later, his Detroit Tigers barreled into sole possession of first place in the AL Central.

It's too early to tell if Dirks' takeout slide on Kansas City second baseman Irving Falu will be featured in the highlight reel of a division winner. But the hard entry by the Tigers right fielder broke up a double play that would have ended the eighth inning and allowed Don Kelly to score from third with the eventual winning run. The end result was a 5-4 Detroit victory at Comerica Park that gave the Tigers a one-game lead in the AL Central with eight to play. 

"I was just trying to break up the double play and try to get a piece of him any way I could to help us score that run,'' Dirks [told reporters after the game]. ''That's just kind of the way you play baseball.''

The solid baseball play actually brought to mind Alex Rios' hard slide on Sept. 17, which sprung the White Sox to a win over the Tigers that opened a three-game lead in the division for Chicago. Robin Ventura's crew has hit the skids since, though, and their 6-4 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday opened the door for the Tigers to stand alone atop the AL Central for the first time since July 22.

The White Sox have gone 2-7 since winning that game with the Rios slide while the Tigers have gone 6-3. While we're loathe to assign Dirks' slide any importance past its role in one victory, it certainly looks like the Tigers are finally starting to seize the division that everyone thought was theirs to begin with.

Want more baseball fun all season long?
Follow @bigleaguestew@KevinKaduk and the BLS Facebook page!

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Is Ozzie Guillen one and done in Miami?
NFL gives into public pressure, brings back refs
Can Rory keep up with Tiger's career arc?
Alligator for hire for kids' birthday parties

  • A Redskins Coach Exposed His Wiener To Fans When He Whipped It Out To Pee On The Sideline

    One Redskins coach, however, decided to go full Nick Novak and pee on the sideline during Washington’s game on Sunday against Detroit. Ben Kotwica, Washington’s special teams coordinator, grabbed a cup, walked away from the action, and went to the bathroom. If you’d like to see the uncensored picture, Deadspin has your back.

  • Gilbert Arenas -- Here's My $111 Million NBA Contract ... Take a Look! (DOCUMENT)

    1 10/25/2016 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF Ever wonder what an $111 million NBA contract looks like? Well, here you go ... courtesy of Gilbert Arenas. The ex-NBA star filed the complete 2008 contract he signed with the Washington Wizards in his family law case ... a contract which was supposed to pay $111 mil over 6 years. As Arenas put it, "Amnesty kicked in" -- and the payouts were stretched over 8 years instead. His final installment will hit his bank account on Oct. 31st. Of course, Arenas -- who made more than $160 MIL during his career -- now says with no more NBA money coming in, he can't afford to keep his kids in private school. The contract spells out exactly how much Gilbert got paid every

  • Here's why Rams are so stubborn about keeping No. 1 pick Jared Goff on bench

    Jeff Fisher knew the question before he stepped to the podium on Sunday. Just as he knew it last week, last month – and every last second since the Los Angeles Rams selected Jared Goff No. 1 overall in the NFL draft. For months Fisher has endured it, like a parent tolerating a child in the backseat of the car.

    Yahoo Sports
  • JGR juggernaut’s toughest challenges could come from within

    TALLADEGA, Ala. — Car owner Joe Gibbs says it gets easier for his team now. Really. All four Joe Gibbs Racing cars advanced to the Round of 8 Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Never has an organization held half the remaining eight spots in the Chase since the elimination-style format debuted in 2014. “I think from here on out, it’s pretty easy,’’ Gibbs said of managing four teams as they race for a title. “Everybody is geared up and is going for a win. That’s the game plan.’’ In others words, it should be just like what it has been all season. “We compete hard,’’ Edwards said of racing teammates in the upcoming round. “We work hard beforehand to help each other prepare. We battle hard on the

    NASCAR Talk
  • Kyle Schwarber added to Cubs' World Series roster

    For a team that’s supposed to be cursed, everything seems to be coming up in the Chicago Cubs’ favor right now. The Cubs will not only enter their first World Series in 71 years as the overwhelming favorite, but they’ll also do so with a player who was expected to miss the entire season. Joe Maddon then said Kyle Schwarber would be the team’s DH in Game 1. Relief pitcher Rob Zastryzny who hadn’t appeared thus far for the Cubs this postseason.

    Big League Stew
  • NFL FANTASY - No Vincent Jackson, no problem in Tampa

    Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football expert Liz Loza tells fantasy owners how to capitalize off the Tampa Bay offense despite the loss of Vincent Jackson to IR.

    Yahoo Sports Videos
  • MLS Decision Day: The big winners, big losers and the super duper extra loser

    FC Dallas won the Supporters’ Shield for the best regular-season record. There are 340 Major League Soccer games in the book this year, and at length, the playoffs can start. FC Dallas: After falling short on goal difference last year, FCD finally lifted its first Supporters’ Shield this year with a consistent and impressive campaign.

    FC Yahoo
  • Golden girl Tina Maze quits skiing

    2-time Olympic champion Tina Maze is hanging up her race boots at 33 years of age. Christina Macfarlane meets the Slovenian star in Sölden, Austria.

  • Look Out LeBron And Steph, Here Come The NBA's Next 5 Stars

    When the NBA season opens tonight, all eyes will be on the Golden State Warriors’ new super-team and LeBron James’ defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, as James sets out to get to his seventh straight Finals and win his fourth NBA title. If there’s not a third-straight Finals showdown between these two franchises, then it’s going to rank as a monumental upset. Those are the headliners, but don’t overlook five budding stars/superstars: Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns; Philadelphia center Joel Embiid, Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell; Phoenix shooting guard Devin Booker and New Orleans rookie shooting guard Buddy Hield. Here’s why many NBA GMs and coaches think this is going to be a special

  • Bylsma: ‘We need to get more’ out of Reinhart

    Sam Reinhart has two assists through four games this season, and Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has made a move with the hope of getting the 20-year-old forward going offensively. As per John Vogl of the Buffalo News on Sunday, Reinhart has been moved to the middle between Tyler Ennis and Zemgus Girgensons, while Matt Moulson was moved to the top line with Ryan O'Reilly and Kyle Okposo. Reinhart, a 23-goal scorer from last season, had two assists through the first two games, but has been kept off the score sheet in Buffalo’s last two contests. Outside of that six-goal outburst versus Edmonton last weekend, scoring has been an issue for the Sabres early in the season. So adjustments to the

  • Fifth USGP win draws Hamilton level with Schumacher’s record

    Lewis Hamilton drew level with Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher for the most United States Grand Prix victories by taking his fifth win on Sunday in Austin, Texas. He’s the third driver overall to do so, with Ayrton Senna having also won five times in the U.S. – albeit only two of them in the USGP title in Phoenix. He also won three Detroit Grands Prix from 1986 through 1988. Hamilton won his first grand prix on American soil back in 2007 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and had won three of the four races held at the Circuit of The Americas since 2012 heading into the Austin weekend. A perfect start saw Hamilton forge an early lead over Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Mercedes teammate Nico

  • University of Alabama students are duking it out on Twitter about sitting during the national anthem

    Black students nationwide have been inspired by and joined the protest started by Colin Kaepernick of the National Football League in which people decline to stand during the national anthem before athletic contests. The protests continue to spread, and they are facing a backlash at some campuses. Some of the backlash consists of people making a case for standing for the anthem. But some of the backlash -- especially on social media -- is coming in the form of ugly comments directed against black students. At a football game at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa on Saturday, a few dozen black students sat together and remained seated for the national anthem. (The football team at Alabama

    Business Insider
  • What Sprint Cup drivers said after the Chase race at Talladega

    Joey Logano won the Hellmann’s 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, advancing to the Round of 8 in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Here’s what the field of drivers had to say about their results at Talladega: JOEY LOGANO – Winner:  “It’s never a layup here at Talladega. It’s always close. You never get a big lead … (Crew chief) Todd (Gordon) made some good adjustments during the race and found some speed in the car, so that was pretty neat to see some of that. We got that track position and just hung onto it. I was able to stay on the bottom and try to run the bottom and keep everyone in line, and that worked out really well. Kevin (Harvick) did a good job with that, which ultimately got us all a great

    NASCAR Talk
  • World Series: Running bases, returning sluggers and more keys to Cubs-Indians

    Watch the historic 2016 World Series live on Fox. CLEVELAND—The World Series is the last chapter of the Grapes of Wrath epoch for either the Cubs or Indians. Cardenal is one of 2,849 players to play in the championship drought years for the Cubs (1909 to 2015) or the Indians (1949 to 2015), but the only one to log at least 300 games for each franchise within those lost eras.

    Sports Illustrated
  • Q&A: John Madden on Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning

    Madden: They don't have an alternative. I mean, that's the problem. They can't continue to play in that stadium. They need a new stadium. And they can't get one put together in Oakland. The L.A. thing didn't work out, which, I'm kind of glad about. I don't think they belonged in L.A. But [Stan] Kroenke got that and, even though there was a chance they may go in with him, I don't think that'll happen. So then, Las Vegas stepped up and offered that they would build a stadium. So that's where they had to go.If it were a decision - Do you want to play in Oakland or do you want to play in Las Vegas - we would all say "we want you to play in Oakland." And Mark Davis, who's making the decision, would
  • Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool title talk: “I don’t care”

    Jurgen Klopp isn’t having any of your title talk. After Liverpool beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 on Saturday at Anfield and Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City and Manchester United all dropped points this weekend, plenty of people are talking up Liverpool’s chances of winning the Premier League title this season. With nine games of the season gone, Liverpool sit joint-top with Arsenal and Man City on 20 points with Chelsea and Tottenham just behind them on 19 points. It is tight at the top but whatever people are saying, Klop isn’t bothered. “I don’t care. It is normal in football that when you are in a good position people start talking a little more positive. I don’t recognize so much what

  • Urijah Faber Announces Retirement

    Urijah Faber has decided that enough is enough. It’s time for him to retire from active mixed martial arts competition and move on. And he’s decided to do it in his hometown. Faber will step into the Octagon for the final time opposite Brad Pickett at UFC on FOX 22 on Dec. 17 in Sacramento, Calif. The fight was announced last week, but Faber broke the news of his retirement on The MMA Hour on Monday. “I’m super excited to fight in (Sacramento),” Faber said. “Those are all my people out there. I built our team, Team Alpha Male (there), it’s like an extended family to me, and I was raised in the greatest Sacramento area all the way through college. It’s going to be a really cool event. “I’ve been

  • LeBron James says he can still win MVP with reduced workload, cites Stephen Curry

    The door is open for LeBron James to win a legacy-altering fifth MVP. But his Cavaliers could also win another championship, leaving Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue planning to limit LeBron’s minutes in preparation of a long playoff run. LeBron, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN “No,” James said Saturday when asked if he was concerned that planned rest could affect his MVP case. “Because Steph played 31 minutes a game and he won the MVP.” “Well, I’ve never set into a season saying I want to win MVP,” he said. “I’ve always thought of the season saying I want to be MVP for my team and it’s resulted in me getting four of them. So I’ve been available, for the most part, every night and I’ve been available on

  • Wait, what? Letestu’s short-handed goal opens the scoring in Heritage Classic

    With a power play in the second period, the Winnipeg Jets had a good opportunity to take the lead on home ice in the Heritage Classic. But instead, it was the Edmonton Oilers cashing in. Mark Letestu opened the scoring with a short-handed goal, beating Connor Hellebuyck on the glove side on a breakaway after Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien whiffed on the puck at the blue line. Letestu took advntage. That’s his second goal of the season, both coming on the penalty kill. The Oilers were able to further silence the crowd in Winnipeg, as Darnell Nurse, right out of the penalty box, buried a Connor McDavid pass just 1:46 after Letestu’s goal.

  • Mets plan to slow-play market for Yoenis Cespedes

    The Mets want to bring back Yoenis Cespedes, "but they probably wouldn't chase him if he got an enormous long-term deal elsewhere," given his age and the streaky nature of his production, according to weekend report from's Buster Olney. According to multiple reports, Cespedes is expected to opt out of his three-year contract and become a free agent. There is mutual interest in having him return to the Mets. However, "There is no urgency," a source told Olney, who says the Mets are open to effectively updating his current deal with another opt-out clause. Cespedes has until three days after the end of the World Series to decide whether to opt out of his current contract with the Mets,'s

  • Early Fantasy Football Pickups for Week 8

    Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football expert Liz Loza reveals her top three waiver claims for Week 8 based on Sunday’s early game results.

    Yahoo Sports Videos
  • 'Fact': LSU will beat Alabama, Leonard Fournette says on 'SEC Now'

    After his record-setting performance against Ole Miss Saturday night, LSU running back Leonard Fournette has turned his attention to Alabama. In an interview on "SEC Now" Monday, Fournette previewed the much-anticipated matchup between the Tigers (5-2, 3-1) and the Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0) on Nov. 5. “It’s going to be hectic, especially because they’re undefeated,” Fournette told host Peter Burns. “I just know it’s going to be one of the best games we’re going to play as a whole. I want to make sure that as a leader on the team, I’m just preparing everybody each and every day.” Fournette and Burns then played a quick game of “fact or fiction.” Fournette revealed that yes, he did throw a ball 70

    The Advocate
  • What does the future hold for Nationals’ Ben Revere after disappointing season in D.C.?

    When it came down the last few roster decisions before the start of the NLDS, the Washington Nationals decided to leave Ben Revere off the 25-Man roster. Revere, 28, struggled offensively throughout his first season in the nation’s capital, after injuring himself on the first day of the regular season. He finished the season with a .217/.260/.300 line over in 103 games and 375 plate appearances, over which he was worth -1.2 fWAR, down from a .306/.342/.377 line between Toronto and Philadelphia in 2015, and 2.2 and 1.9 fWAR campaigns in the previous two seasons (2015-16). Both Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker and Washington’s GM Mike Rizzo talked about the decision to go with Michael Taylor over

    Federal Baseball
  • Bob Stoops defends brother Mike following Oklahoma defense’s performance at Texas Tech

    Oklahoma’s defense has not had the best of weeks. The Sooners gave up 59 points on Saturday to Texas Tech and allowed quarterback Patrick Mahomes to set an FBS record for total offense as he did just about whatever he wanted in the passing game. While the team ultimately won the game, giving up that many points and yards has naturally led to some questions about Oklahoma’s defensive coordinator. Head coach Bob Stoops isn’t having any of that however, and it’s not just because the coordinator in question is his brother Mike Stoops. “It’s all of us, too. It isn’t just my brother and I. It’s also coach [Kerry] Cooks, coach [Calvin] Thibodeaux, coach [Tim] Kish, everybody in there,” Stoops said Monday,

    NBC Sports: CollegeFootballTalk
  • The 2 Robbies Podcast: Chelsea dominate United, City settle for a point

    Robbie Mustoe & Robbie Earle discuss Chelsea’s 4-0 victory over Manchester United. After leading the Blues to three Premier League titles over the course of two stints at Chelsea, it was a nightmare return to Stamford Bridge for Jose Mourinho who suffered his worst defeat as a manager in the Premier League. The gents talk about how both Chelsea and Manchester United’s title credentials have changed after their performances and wonder what did Jose Mourinho whisper into Antonio Conte‘s ear at the final whistle? The 2 Robbies also reflect on another draw for Manchester City as they had to come from behind at the Etihad Stadium to rescue a point against Southampton thanks to a goal from 2nd-half