Tigers 7, Athletics 3

The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander picked up Saturday where he left off last season in the American League Division Series, beating the Oakland A's twice in Games 1 and 5.

Verlander threw six strong innings in a 7-3 victory as the Tigers snapped the A's nine-game winning streak. Verlander held the A's to one run on three hits, striking out six and walking three at Oakland Coliseum.

The Tigers gave more than enough offensive support to Verlander, who left with a 7-1 lead. Johnny Peralta hit a three-run homer, while Torii Hunter and Prince Fielder launched solo shots. Fielder went 2-for-3 and raised his batting average to .436.

All three home runs came off A's left-hander Brett Anderson and powered the Tigers to an early 5-1 lead. Anderson gave up eight hits and seven earned runs over 5.2 innings as his record fell to 1-2 and his ERA jumped from 1.38 to 4.34. The three home runs he allowed matched his career high.

The A's struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Seth Smith lined a one-out single to center off Verlander, moved to second on Josh Donaldson's sharp single and scored on Derek Norris' two-out base hit to left.

Detroit pulled even in the third on Hunter's booming home run to deep left off Anderson, his first blast as a Tiger. Hunter, a former member of the Los Angeles Angels, came into the game hitting .438 against Anderson with two home runs. After fouling off four pitches, he ripped a 0-2 slider into the left-field seats.

The Tigers got to Anderson for four more runs in the fourth, taking a 5-1 lead. Fielder led off with a monstrous blast over the right-center wall for his fourth home run of the season and second in two days against the A's.

Victor Martinez kept the rally going with a line drive single to center. After Matt Tuiasosopo walked, Peralta launched Anderson's 3-2 fastball deep into the left-field seats.

The Tigers added two runs in the seventh when Brayan Pena doubled home Omar Infante, ending Anderson's day, and Austin Jackson hit an RBI double off reliever Pat Neshek.

The A's scored twice in the seventh off Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque. Eric Sogard walked and went to third on Norris' double. Chris Young brought them both home with a double to left, cutting Detroit's lead to 7-3.

A's manager Bob Melvin was ejected by home plate umpire Andy Fletcher in the bottom of the eighth, shortly after Brandon Moss struck out looking. Moss appeared to take issue with the call, and Melvin sprinted out of the dugout and began arguing vehemently with Fletcher.

The A's loaded the bases in the eighth, but pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie struck out looking against Joaquin Benoit, ending the inning.

The A's went into Saturday's game without left fielder Yoenis Cespedes and center fielder Coco Crisp, who were both injured during Friday night's 4-2, 12-inning win over Detroit. Cespedes went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle on his left hand, an injury he suffered while sliding awkwardly at second base in the eighth inning. Crisp got the day off to rest a sore left groin.

NOTES: The A's recalled outfielder Michael Taylor from Triple-A Sacramento to take Cespedes' place on the 25-man roster. ... Cespedes had an MRI on Saturday that revealed no ligament or structural damage, Melvin said. He spent time on the DL last year with a similar injury to his left hand. "We want to make sure he's 100 percent healthy when he gets back. All things considered, you certainly hope when a guy goes in an MRI tube that there's no ligament damage and you're not looking at surgery," Melvin said. "But that being one of the potential options, maybe we got a little bit of a break as far as just a strain of the muscle." ... Crisp, who left Friday night's game after the ninth inning, is day-to-day, Melvin said. "It just happened I think when they threw over a couple times on him. He actually played with it for a couple innings. He's feeling a little bit better today. It's literally day to day, whether it's tomorrow or the next day." ... The Tigers have a day off Monday and announced that they'll skip right-hander Rick Porcello's turn in the rotation. He was scheduled to pitch Tuesday at Seattle, but Doug Fister will now start that game. He was available out of the bullpen Saturday. ... Left-handed reliever Phil Coke missed Friday night's game with an illness but said he was feeling "a lot better" Saturday and made an appearance, allowing no runs and one hit in two-thirds of an inning. "I couldn't really stand up without losing my equilibrium (Friday)," Coke said. "I'm good." ... Tigers reliever Octavio Dotel's pitching elbow tightened up Friday night, limiting him to two-thirds of an inning. Before the game, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he hadn't received an update from team trainers on Dotel's condition.
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