DETROIT -- The pink bats are now a baseball tradition, but it was a pair of bright pink shoes that stole the show in the Indians' 4-3, 10-inning victory over the Tigers on Mother's Day Sunday.
In the top half of the final inning, Cleveland slugger Mark Reynolds came off the bench as a pinch-hitter, wearing bright pink shoes. He then delivered a run-scoring single to left field, providing the go-ahead run that helped the Indians find the win column for the 12th time in the last 14 games.
"Those things were sweet," Indians reliever Cody Allen said. "They were awesome -- for one day."
Eight of the nine hitters in Cleveland's starting lineup also used the pink bats that have become associated with Mother's Day in Major League Baseball.
Fans can personalize their own pink Louisville Slugger at the MLB.com Shop, and $10 from the sale of each bat will be donated to MLB Charities in support of the fight against breast cancer. As has been the case each year since 2006, game-used pink Louisville Sluggers will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com to raise further funds.
"I think it's awesome," Indians first baseman Nick Swisher said. "It's about raising awareness and doing what's right. If it wasn't for all the moms out there, none of us would be here. So I think it's just an amazing day. With our technology and where medicine is going, the pink bats kind of raise awareness in a sense. The NFL does it for a full month. We get to do it for one day. It's a special day for all the mothers out there."
As Sunday's game wore on, a handful of Tribe players began switching their pink bats back to their normal bats.
"Baseball players are kind of superstitious," Indians left fielder Michael Brantley said with a laugh. "I used the pink bat for my first two at-bats and then I went back to my original one. I just wanted to make sure I used the pink bat on Mother's Day, but I usually never use it for the full game."
The Indians went 3-for-23 with the pink bats and 5-for-12 with the other lumber.
Brantley was happy to take part in the annual initiative.
"It's a great cause," he said. "I always wear my wrist band, always wear my necklace and always use the bat to support. I'm just glad to be a part of it, truthfully."