Athletics: 12 Tigers: 4
The A’s avoided the sweep today by doing the exact opposite of what they had in their previous three games. They hit with runners in scoring position and despite Tom Milone being pulled from the game in the fifth, the bullpen pitched well enough to keep Oakland in the game.
Tom Milone was less than sharp today, throwing 94 pitches through 4.2 innings. He got Austin Jackson to strike out to start the bottom half of the first, but with only one out he loaded the bases with a double and two walks. Delmon Young swung at the first pitch he saw, grounding out into a double play and ending the threat.
He was not so lucky in the second inning, allowing back-to-back singles to lead off the inning and a sacrifice bunt that would move the runners over to second and third. Then with two on and one out Gerald Laird hit an RBI single scoring the first run of the game. He record the second out of the inning by getting Austin Jackson to fly out, but a second run scored on the sacrifice. Omar Infante walked, but Miguel Cabrera flew out to end the inning.
The A’s cut the Tigers lead in half in the third, scoring on a throwing error by Omar Infante. The Tigers would stay quiet in the third and the fourth, allowing the A’s to tie it up in the fifth inning off of a solo home run by Seth Smith. The Tigers retook the lead in the fifth inning off of an RBI double by Prince Fielder. Milone recorded the second out of the inning before being replaced by Pat Neshek who recorded the last out by getting Avilsail Garcia to pop out.
The sixth inning was huge for the A’s, who scored four runs off of an RBI double by Brandon Moss and a 3-run double by George Kottaras. Jerry Blevins replaced Neshek in bottom half of the sixth and after allowing a lead off home run to Andy Dirks he got Gerald Laird to fly out. Ryan Cook came in to replace Blevins, getting the last two batters to fly out. Cook pitched the seventh inning as well, setting down the batters in order and striking out two of the three he faced. Sean Doolittle pitched a clean eighth inning, also striking out two of the three he faced.
The A’s needed insurance runs and that’s exactly what they got in the ninth, scoring six runs and putting them up by eight. Cliff Pennington and George Kottaras lead off the inning with two singles and Stephen Drew grounded out moving the runners to second and third. The Tigers then intentionally walked Josh Reddick to get to Yoenis Cespedes, who hit a sacrafice fly. Then with two outs and Kottaras and Reddick on first and third Brandon Moss was intentionally walked to get to Daric Barton. Barton walked and Kottaras scored and the A’s were up by four. Seth Smith would follow with a bases clearing double and he scored after Josh Donaldson doubled him in. George Kottaras, who lead off the inning with a single, grounded out to end the inning.
Evan Scribner pitched the ninth inning, he allowed a double to Omar Infante, but escaped the inning without allowing a run.
Along with good news comes bad news, the A’s have announced that Brett Anderson will miss the rest of the regular season with a right olique strain. Anderson has expressed that he would like to be ready in the post season if the team makes it. As I said yesterday, Travis Blackley is expected to take his spot in the rotation. In 93.2 innings for the A’s this season, Blackley has a 3.65 ERA, a 3.62 FIP and .262 BABIP.