The AL’s top hitting team is piling up the hits and runs—and having a good time along the way.
Jackson had four hits, including a two-run homer, and Detroit got a much-needed boost from its Nos. 5-9 hitter, who combined for five hits, two runs and three RBIs. Not bad, when the top of the order includes Prince Fielder and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera
“We show you the left, then we sting with the right,” said Hunter, who had two doubles and a triple. “You look at Prince, Cabrera and myself … you kind of forget about our catfish, the bottom feeders.”
Detroit’s big three combined to drive in four runs and score five times, but it was Jackson and bottom of the order provided spark.
“We grind out our at-bats pretty good,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “Jackson really sets a good tempo for us. When your leadoff hitter gets four hits, you should score some runs.”
Hunter had three extra-base hits for the first time since June 13, 2009, for the Los Angeles Angels
Cabrera drove in two runs for the Tigers, who had 14 hits. The first eight batters in the Tigers batting order had at least one hit, and seven players drove in runs.
Oakland managed just three hits while losing its second straight following a nine-game winning streak.
“They swung well this whole series, and when you’re not making your pitches this is what happens,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We just got shut down the last couple of games.”
Anibal Sanchez overcame a sluggish start to pitch seven innings, winning his second straight outing and giving Detroit’s bullpen a needed rest.
Sanchez (2-0) pitched with runners on base in three of the first four innings but limited the damage until finding his rhythm. He allowed one run, three hits and four walks, matching his season-high of eight strikeouts.
Rick Porcello skipped in the rotation due to Monday’s off day, pitched two scoreless innings. Detroit’s bullpen, taxed in recent days, was without Dotel due to an elbow injury.
Derek Norris doubled and drove in the lone run for the A’s. Oakland, which entered the game leading the majors in several offensive categories, struck out 38 times in the three-game series.
Jarrod Parker (0-2), who lost to Detroit in Games 1 and 5 of last year’s AL division series, gave up a career-high eight runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings, leaving him with a 10.80 ERA.
Jackson hit the first of his three singles leading off the game, and Hunter followed with an RBI double over center fielder Chris Young and scored on Martinez’s single off the right-field wall for a 2-0 lead. Jackson doubled the lead in the second with his first home run this season.
“I made a couple of good pitches and they hit them, and I made a couple of bad pitches and they hit them,” Parker said. “They are hot right now.”
Cabrera’s two-run single and Fielder’s RBI double, which extended his hitting streak to nine games, chased Parker in the fourth. Dirks’ run-scoring single off Evan Scribner boosted the lead to 8-0.
Norris hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom half, and Norris ended the inning by throwing a called third strike past Eric Sogard to end the threat.
NOTES: Fielder is 16 for 30 (.533) during his hitting streak. … Hunter also has a nine-game hitting streak. … Dotel sat out his second straight game with elbow inflammation; Leyland said the reliever is getting better. … Oakland INF Adam Rosales on the DL with a strained left intercostal muscle, took batting practice without pain but won’t begin a rehab assignment until he can begin turning double plays and making strong throws in the field. … Tigers RHP Doug Fister (2-0) carries a 2.77 ERA into Tuesday’s start at Seattle. … Oakland LHP Tommy Milone (2-0), who starts for the A’s against Houston on Monday, has a four-game winning streak dating to last season.