Athletics: 4 Tigers: 3
I have been absolutely speechless for the past hour. How do you put into words what just happened? Just when I was ready to say good-bye to the 2012 Oakland Athletics, they manage to do what the 2012 A’s do and come from behind and walk-off for the fifteenth time this season.
A.J. Griffin had his struggles today, but in the long run was able to “tame” the Tigers enough for the A’s to make their comeback. He allowed seven hits and two runs over five innings while walking none and striking out only one.
For the first time in the series, the Tigers were the first to score. In the third inning, Alex Avila doubled to lead off the inning and Omar Infante sacrificed him over to third. Austin Jackson followed with a single and Avila scored. Griffin got Quintin Berry to fly out and Miguel Cabrera to ground out to end the inning. The only other run scored off of Griffin was a solo home run by Price Fielder that lead off the fourth inning.
Griffin came out to pitch the sixth, but after Miguel Cabrera lead off the inning with a pop up that nobody caught for a single, he was replaced Jerry Belvins. Blevins did what Blevins does and got Prince Fielder to ground into a double play and then got Delmon Young to ground out to end the inning.
Runs did not come easy for the team today, but caught a break in the bottom of the sixth. Coco Crisp grounded out to Prince Fielder, but an error by the first baseman allowed Crisp to reach second. Stephen Drew then followed with a double, scoring Crisp. Drew tried to stretch his double into a triple and was thrown out at third. The inning was pretty uneventful after Drew’s TOOTBLAN; Yoenis Cespedes struck out, Brandon Moss walked and Josh Reddick recorded the final out by flying out to center field.
Jerry Blevins pitched a clean seventh, getting all three batters he faced to ground out. Sean Doolittle replaced Blevins in the eighth, but struggled a bit. Omar Infante lead off the inning with a single and Austin Jackson sacrificed him over to second base. Then with one out Avisail Garcia singled, scoring Infante. Miguel Cabrera popped up, but Prince Fielder followed with a single and that was it for Sean Doolittle. Ryan Cook came in and recorded the last out by getting Delmon Young to ground out.
The A’s did threaten in the eighth inning, with two outs Stephen Drew singled and Yoenis Cespedes walked, but Brandon Moss struck out swinging to end it. Ryan Cook pitched a clean top of the ninth, retiring all three batters he faced.
With Jose Valverde on the mound and down by two runs, the bats came alive. Josh Reddick lead off the inning with a single, Josh Donaldson doubled and with runners on second and third with no outs, Seth Smith smacked a double to center, scoring both runners and tying up the game. George Kottaras popped up and Cliff Pennington struck out looking before Coco Crisp became the second hero of the inning. Crisp swung at the first pitch he saw, singled and Smith scored from second.
It’s up to Jarrod Parker tomorrow to save the A’s season. No pressure, right? He last faced the Tigers on Saturday and allowed seven hits, two earned runs, walked one and struck out five over 6.1 innings.