June 20 (UPI) — A bird stood between home plate and the pitcher’s mound before Joey Votto smacked a grand slam against the Detroit Tigers Tuesday.
The Cincinnati Reds star gave credit where it was due after clearing the bases in the 9-5 triumph Tuesday at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, waving his arms in a flying motion before tapping the plate himself.
Cincinnati and Detroit played two scoreless innings before the Reds were up to bat in the bottom of the third inning.
Tigers starter Matthew Boyd walked Billy Hamilton to start the inning. Jose Peraza followed with a single before Boyd also walked Tucker Barnhart, loading the bases.
Votto faced a 1-1 count from Boyd when he noticed a bird casually strolling through his line of vision. He walked up to the bird with his bat and attempted to carefully swat it away. Votto couldn’t get the bird to move much.
He stepped back into the box and knocked Boyd’s fourth offering to right field, barely clearing the outfield fence for his third career grand slam.
Votto waved his arms between third base and home, having some fun with Hamilton.
“I shouldn’t have done that, that was silly,” Votto said in a postgame interview with Fox Sports Ohio. “I felt like I wanted to thank it in a way. You have to try and have fun and sometimes a bird gets involved and helps you out.”
Votto’s four-bagger gave the Reds a 4-0 lead. He went 1-for-3 with four RBIs, two runs scored, two walks and a strikeout in the win. Votto is now hitting .302 on the season with seven home runs and 36 RBIs.