Scouting reports compiled by men on the scene are going the way of 13 mile-per-gallon cars.
Not too many around anymore.
Detroit dispatched a couple of scouts to follow Oakland a couple of weeks ago purely because the teams had a three-game series coming up and the Tigers had not seen the A's since May.
Manager Jim Leyland said before Wednesday's game that what the guys on the road had filed could play a part. After Detroit's 6-2 victory, he said that it did.
"We knew (Brett) Anderson fell off a little bit that way (to his right). (Andy) Dirks led off with a bunt single -- it was a smart play -- and (Gerald) Laird followed suit," Leyland said.
Dirks, leading off the third inning, dragged a bunt toward second base that got by the Oakland left-hander for a base hit.
"They were playing me back," Dirks said. "You try to take a hit when you can get them. Especially leading off an inning, you're trying to get on any way you can. They were playing back, I figured it's got a good chance."
Then came Laird.
"I took a pitch," said Laird, "then he gave me the bunt sign. I figured I would put it in the same spot as Dirks and I might have a chance to beat it out. I've still got some gas in the tank as far as the legs go. We knew he fell off to the side."
Austin Jackson grounded out, both runners advancing on the slow roller, and Omar Infante lined a double down the third base line good for a 2-0 lead. Infante ended up scoring on a Delmon Young sacrifice fly to center.
Justin Verlander struggled through six scoreless innings, Miguel Cabrera hit his 41st home run, and Detroit went on to win, pulling back to within two games of the first place Chicago White Sox, who lost to the Kansas City Royals, 3-0.