It's not as though Jim Thome needed any extra incentive to hit a walkoff home run on Saturday. But just in case, Jonathan Papelbon offered an immediate reward up if anyone could bail him out, and Thome answered the call.
You see, Papelbon gave up two runs in the top of the ninth on Saturday as the Tampa Bay Rays pulled even with the Philadelphia Phillies. But his team still had a chance to save him after he failed to save the game.
And that's when he offered a bounty, if you will.
After blowing save, Papelbon came in clubhouse and said he'd give $5K to whoever walked it off. He already wrote out a check to Jim Thome.— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) June 24, 2012
The story is simple: Thome entered the game in the bottom of the ninth, batting for Papelbon. He was the first hitter up to the plate, and immediate cashed in.
The walkoff dinger gave the Phillies a 7-6 win and put an extra $5,000 in Thome's pocket. Even better: He got the home run ball back.
Thome just got the HR ball, too. Signed autographs, posed for picture with family that caught ball.— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) June 24, 2012
And, of course, Papelbon got the win.