American League Game Summary - Detroit at Oakland|
(Wednesday, October 10th)
Final Score: Oakland 4, Detroit 3
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers were three outs away from
heading back to the American League Championship Series.
Instead they're going to have to return to the Oakland Coliseum for a decisive
Game 5 after the Athletics manufactured a dramatic ninth-inning rally.
Seth Smith tied the game with a two-run double and scored the winning run on
Coco Crisp's two-out single, lifting the A's past the Tigers, 4-3.
Jose Valverde (0-1) faltered when asked to deliver a knockout blow, giving up
three consecutive hits to begin the ninth. Josh Reddick singled and Josh
Donaldson doubled before Smith brought both men home with his line drive to
"He probably didn't get the ball located where he wanted to," Detroit manager
Jim Leyland said of Valverde. "The first hit was just out of the reach of
(second baseman) Omar (Infante). They banged a couple after that obviously."
Valverde retired the next two batters, but Crisp grounded the first pitch he
saw to right. Smith hustled around third and scored without a throw because
Avisail Garcia couldn't field the ball cleanly.
"There are guys we feel good about, but I don't think there's anybody we feel
better about in that situation than Coco," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin.
The A's are no strangers to thrilling finishes. After all, they paced the
majors with 14 walk-off wins during the regular season. And their latest
triumph sets up a winner-take-all contest on Thursday.
Oakland is trying to place itself amongst a select few. Only four teams have
battled back from an 0-2 deficit to advance since Division Series play began
The Tigers cashed in a leadoff double by Alex Avila in the third. Oakland
starting pitcher A.J. Griffin didn't get the call from plate umpire Eric
Cooper on a 1-2 pitch down and in to the Detroit catcher. Avila hammered the
next pitch, a hanging curveball, into the right-field corner and advanced on
Infante's sacrifice bunt before Austin Jackson singled him home.
Prince Fielder led off the fourth by crushing a no-doubter to the seats in
right-center. Delmon Young and Andy Dirks followed with back-to-back singles,
but Griffin got Jhonny Peralta to ground into a double play and retired Avila
on a fly ball to keep it a 2-0 game.
Detroit's Max Scherzer, meanwhile, was cruising on the mound, retiring 12 A's
in a row before Smith worked a two-out walk in the fifth. Smith moved to third
on a base hit by Derek Norris, but Scherzer fanned Cliff Pennington to end the
The A's capitalized on a defensive miscue in the sixth, and Stephen Drew's RBI
double put them on the board. The frame began with Crisp reaching second base
on an error by Fielder at first. Crisp, who saw 10 pitches during his at-bat,
slapped a grounder that glanced off Fielder's glove and rolled into the
spacious foul territory.
Drew made a poor base running decision after sending Scherzer's offering to
center and was gunned down at third base for the first out.
Detroit extended its lead in the eighth. Infante singled against Sean
Doolittle to start the inning and moved up on Jackson's sac bunt before a
pinch-hitting Garcia knocked him in with a base hit to right. Fielder singled
with two outs, but Ryan Cook (1-0) retired Young on a 4-3 grounder.
The only other time the Athletics won back-to-back elimination games was in
the 1973 World Series against the New York Mets ... Griffin gave up two runs
and seven hits in five-plus innings. He became the third rookie A's pitcher to
start a game in this series after Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone, the first
time it has happened in major league history in a single postseason ... Third
baseman Miguel Cabrera went 1-for-4 and has now reached base safely in each of
his 15 postseason games with the Tigers. It's the third-longest streak in club
history, trailing Hank Greenberg (18) and Charlie Gehringer (16) ... Scherzer
limited the A's to three hits, walked one and struck out eight in 5 1/3
10/11 02:07:15 ET