Alburquerque’s fist pump creates a stir
Under most circumstances, an opponent taking offense to an Al Alburquerque out celebration is a sure sign of postseason baseball. It came a little early this season.
It hasn’t gotten much attention, but Alburquerque has been increasingly celebrating big strikeouts, big game or not, if they’re in a big situation. Usually, it involves a fist pump. When he struck out Mike Moustakas in the eighth inning Wednesday to keep the Tigers-Royals series finale a two-run game, however, he paired up a fist pump with a leg kick. He also happened to do so in the direction of the Royals dugout.
There was more than a few Royals glaring back.
“It definitely got me fired up,” Lorenzo Cain said, “because I was on deck. So to see him strike Moose out and fist pump like that, I was fired up the entire half inning I was out there. And I felt like I had to go up there and do something and prove myself in that next at-bat and that’s exactly what I did.”
Cain tripled and scored an insurance run in the ninth.
Alburquerque has a history of getting a reaction. He kissed a ball after inducing a comebacker in Game 2 of the 2012 AL Division Series against Oakland. That said, there seemed to be more than a little back-and-forth going on between the Tigers and Royals this week, including Royals players with Miguel Cabrera.