Down four points, at the top of the ninth inning with bases loaded, Washington Nationals' Darren Baker hit a game-tying grand slam Friday. The fun part: it helped his team land an 11-7 win over the Houston Astros in front of the team's general manager, his father Dusty Baker.
The Astros gave up an eight-spot in the ninth same inning before losing the four-run lead in the big league spring game. After the big hit, Darren's teammates exploded with excitement. "I don't know when I've been mobbed like that in the dugout ... It was an out-of-body type of experience," he told the Houston Chronicle.
"I didn't know whether to be a proud poppa or an angry poppa," the Astros manager said after the loss.
"He didn't want to speak to me after the game," Darren said via The Houston Chronicle with a chuckle. "I had to run down the third-base line and he said he'd talk to me later.
The two reportedly live together in a house every spring, so Dusty won't be able to avoid the 24-year-old for long. You can see the play below along with the consolation Darren offered his father, as he offered to buy dinner via Twitter with a loving emoji.
Darren was the Nationals' 10th-round pick out of Cal in 2021. He split time last season between High A Wilmington and Class AA Harrisburg.
Though his professional career hadn't started yet, Darren etched a place in baseball lore when he was just three years old. During the seventh inning of Game 5 of the 2002 World Series, he, was nearly run over at home plate after a two-run single from San Francisco Giants outfielder Kenny Lofton.
Working as the bat boy for the Giants, he wandered too close to home plate in the middle of the play. Giants first baseman J.T. Snow had safely crossed home plate before Darren came out on the field and narrowly pulled him to safety as a David Bell steamed toward him on a mission to score.
As a result of that play, MLB created a rule requiring all bat boys to be at least 14 years of age. Darren and Snow even re-created the moment during the team's 10-year reunion in 2012.