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Alburquerque's kiss draws mixed reaction

The SportsXchange

Detroit Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque might have angered some of the Oakland A's players in his one-batter appearance in the ninth inning Sunday in Game 2 of the AL Division Series.

Alburquerque was brought in to face Yoenis Cespedes with runners on first and third and two outs. He caught a bouncer back to him, took a couple of steps to first and then kissed the baseball before underhanding it to first baseman Prince Fielder for the third out.

"I thought that was the coolest thing I'd ever seen," Fielder said, "but I was nervous because I really didn't know what was going on. When he kissed it, I was like, 'What? Oh. Oh. All right. Yeah.' I didn't know. ... There was no panic. It was awesome, like we were just playing around."

Albuquerque said, "It's the emotions of the game. You win, you feel happy. If you do something good, you feel happy, too. Everybody's got different emotions. It's part of the emotions for me."

Oakland right fielder Josh Reddick said, "We didn't appreciate that. I thought it was immature and not very professional. You don't do that on the field. Save it for the dugout."

Alburquerque wound up as the winning pitcher when the Tigers scored in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 victory.
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