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A's roll to rain-shortened win at Detroit

The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- The healing waters of Detroit have the Oakland Athletics on a two-game winning streak.

Jed Lowrie got Oakland off to a 2-0 start with a two-run double in the first inning Tuesday night, and Brandon Moss added a tiebreaking, two-run home run in the fifth to let the Athletics beat the rain and the Tigers 6-3 in a game halted by rain four batters into the top of the sixth inning.

Tommy Milone (10-9) gave up three runs in the first but pitched four innings of one-hit ball thereafter. He walked three, but just one after the first inning.

"We had a two-hour window to get this one in," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "That first inning felt like it lasted about an hour.

"Tommy was able to take it all the way through. That's a testament to the kid's moxie. After the first inning, he started throwing more strikes, and his changeup was much better."

It was another troubled outing for Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who needed a personal-high 44 pitches to get through the first inning. He went to full counts on four batters and 2-2 on two others of the seven he pitched to in the first.

"It's my command, especially walking the leadoff hitter with two strikes on him" Verlander said. "I've been through this before. I'm a better pitcher now. I know it's going to click. My confidence never wavered in 2008, and it isn't going to now. I don't know if any pitcher in baseball has ever worked as hard as I have (to get through this)."

Verlander had problems with his hands getting wet. The precipitation didn't seem to bother Milone, who wasn't out there as long each inning. The rain began falling in the bottom of the first and continued at a steady pace thereafter.

"You know how your hands look like a prune when you get out of the shower sometimes?" Verlander said. "That's why mine looked like in the fourth and fifth innings."

Verlander (12-10) gave up four hits and five runs (three earned) in five innings, throwing 104 pitches. Two of the three walks he issued led to runs.

Seth Smith tagged reliever Bruce Rondon with a leadoff home run in the sixth, his seventh of the season, and the A's loaded the bases on two singles plus a walk before play was halted. The game was called after a wait of 80 minutes.

In the fifth, Moss hit a hanging changeup for his 22nd home run, but a one-out error preceding a forceout made both runs unearned.

"My fingers were drenched," Verlander said. "It was a changeup that did nothing."

A first-inning walk and a single set up Lowrie for his bloop two-run double near the right field foul line in the first.

Milone allowed a walk, a single and a walk to his first three batters, and Prince Fielder ripped a two-run double into right-center. Another run scored on Alberto Callaspo's error on Omar Infante's grounder with two outs in the inning.

"I started attacking the batters," Milone said of the difference after the first. "I felt a little more comfortable pitching out of the windup. I was throwing more strikes and trying to get them out of there early.

"The first inning, how long it went, made the fourth and fifth seem like the sixth and seventh."

Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI double to left after a two-out walk in the third to get Oakland back to 3-3.

NOTES: RHP Bartolo Colon will come off the disabled list Thursday to start for Oakland against Detroit. "We're going to play it by ear," Melvin said in terms of a pitch count, "but he was getting a little worn down before his groin became an issue." ... Detroit C Alex Avila was activated from the concussion disabled list before the game and was in the starting lineup. He went 0-for-2. C Bryan Holaday was optioned to Triple-A Toledo. ... LHP Brett Anderson (ankle) is with the A's, but the team is unsure exactly when it will activate him from the DL. Anderson will pitch out of the bullpen initially. ... Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera has 33 hits, 11 home runs and 31 RBIs this month. He joins Albert Belle (Cleveland, 1996) and Jim Rice (Boston, 1978) as the only players in the past 50 years with at least 30 hits, 10 home runs and 30 RBIs in two different months of a season.
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