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Moss leads 21-hit attack, A's clobber Tigers

The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- Bob Melvin is as surprised as a lot of other people.

"When we came in here," the Oakland Athletics manager said, "you don't expect this."

Brandon Moss hit a pair of home runs in a four-hit Wednesday night and drove in six runs as part of a 21-hit attack that helped Oakland rack up a 14-4 victory over Detroit that was its third straight win over the Tigers in the series.

"We knew coming in this was a big series," Moss said. "We knew it would be a challenge against the pitching staff. For us all year, runs have been hard to come by."

Dan Straily (7-7) won for the first time since July 9 in his first start against Detroit. He worked six innings, allowing a solo home run among his eight hits in besting the Tigers' Doug Fister (11-7), who gave up 11 singles and two doubles.

Brett Anderson, just activated off the disabled list, saw his first action since April 29 and recorded his first career save. He pitched a scoreless seventh, gave up an RBI single to Andy Dirks plus a two-run double to Alex Avila in the eighth and then worked a scoreless four-batter ninth.

"We were fortunate to be able to get him out there and stretch him out a little bit (56 pitches)," Melvin said. "His slider was tight, he had a good curve and his fastball was crisp."

"I probably never felt better about giving up three runs," Anderson said, the A's Opening Day starter and who usually does not work out of the bullpen. "It was good to get back out there.

"Every time the phone rang (in the bullpen) I thought, 'Oh, I'm going in there game.' I saw the situation and the score and figured I'd be going the rest of the way."

Josh Donaldson had three hits, including an RBI double in the eighth, as did Kurt Suzuki, Alberto Callaspo and Jed Lowrie.

"I came in here two weeks ago with Washington and we just got smashed," said Suzuki, who just got traded to Oakland. "That's a good pitching team right there."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland had a simple explanation for his team's play the past three games.

"We just got beat up," he said. "It's that simple. There's no other explanation for it. It's not like anything was fluky."

Moss had an RBI double in the four-run fifth, and then smacked his 23rd home run in the sixth with a man on. In his next at-bat, he stroked a long home run to right, his 24th, with two on in the eighth. He has three home runs in the last two nights and six in his last nine games.

"A couple of weeks ago I was taking batting practice and a I found something that was hindering my swing all year," Moss said. "I opened up a little more and ... it helped me be smoother."

Oakland roughed Fister up for five straight singles in its three-run second, then added six singles plus a double in its four-run fifth. Eric Sogard and Suzuki had the RBI singles in the second with Donaldson getting a sacrifice fly.

Moss' RBI double started the scoring in the fifth, with Yoenis Cespedes, Callaspo and Sogard contributing run-scoring singles. Lowrie had an RBI double off reliever Jose Alvarez in the sixth and Moss followed with his two-run home run.

"I'd start out by saying it looks like Oakland was sitting in on our pitchers' meeting," Leyland said.

Straily worked six innings giving up only Torri Hunter's home run before giving way to Anderson.

NOTES: RHP Justin Verlander of the Tigers has joined the Detroit Tigers Foundation in committing $1 million to begin "Wins for Warriors" that will reach out to military veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their families in need of mental and emotional aid. "These people are taught to be strong, but when they come back home they are the last to raise their hands and say, 'I need help,'" Verlander said. "This is an opportunity for us to extend our hands." ... Oakland activated Anderson from the disabled list before the game. Their Opening Day starter worked the last three innings for his first big league save. ... Detroit's contingent of minor leaguers who will participate in the Arizona Fall League includes one player drafted in June, RHP Corey Knebel, a compensation-round pick out of Texas. ... LHP Tommy Milone, the winning pitcher for Oakland on Tuesday night, was optioned to the minors Wednesday. He likely will return after rosters expand Sept. 1.
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