For a third consecutive night, the Tigers’ starting pitching put them in a hole early and did not stop the bleeding as Oakland hammered the Tigers 14-4 to clinch an outright series victory and set themselves up for a chance at a sweep tomorrow afternoon.
Doug Fister actually managed to keep the Athletics off the scoreboard in the first inning for the first time in the series, but the same could not be said of the second. His pitches stayed up and he didn’t get much help from the BABIP fates either (Austin Jackson decided not to dive for a ball that landed right in front of him again) as he allowed five consecutive singles before recording one out. Three runs scored in the frame, and the Tigers were once again forced to play from behind.
A Torii Hunter solo home run got the Tigers within 3-1, but the pitching remained unable to stop the bleeding for the third straight night. The A’s really busted it open in the fifth inning with a four spot, including a double to dead center by Brandon Moss that Jackson probably should have caught. The situation only got worse in the sixth when Oakland went to town on Detroit’s bullpen. Oakland put up three runs on Jose Alvarez, including a two-run homer by newly minted Tigers nemesis Moss. Moss homered yet again in the 8th, this one a three-run shot off Drew Smyly, and by that point the A’s had made it to 14 runs. The Detroit offense scratched across a couple runs in the 8th, but it was far too little, too late.
In short, the Tigers got a short, ineffective start from their starter for the third consecutive night and the bullpen was anything but airtight when it came to giving the offense a chance to make up the deficit. The Tigers will try to avoid a four-game sweep at home behind Max Scherzer, who goes for his 20th win tomorrow afternoon.