The Detroit Tigers put together an offensive surge early against the Oakland Athletics to jump out to a six run lead, but their pitching failed as the Tigers dropped a 9-7 decision at Comerica Park.
The Tigers jumped on Oakland starter Frankie Montas in the first inning, plating four runs on a pair of RBI doubles by Nick Castellanos and Niko Goodrum, and an RBI single by James McCann. Dixon Machado tripled in a pair of runs in the third inning to give the Tigers an early 6-0 lead after three innings.
Blaine Hardy started strong, shutting out the A’s for three innings while allowing just a single and a walk. The fourth inning was not so smooth for the Tigers’ southpaw, though. With a man on first and one out, Matt Olson grounded into a fielder’s choice, leaving two outs with a runner on first. Stephen Piscotty reached on an error by first baseman John Hicks, and a pair of doubles by Mark Canha and Jonathan Lucroy plated three runs to make it 6-3 Detroit.
Chris Hatcher relieved Montas in the fourth inning and gave up another run on a single by Jeimer Candelario, a sacrifice fly by Goodrum and an RBI single by Hicks to make it 7-3 for Detroit.
Hardy continued to struggle in the fifth inning, giving up a lead off walk to Marcus Semien, back-to-back home runs by Chad Pinder and Jed Lowrie, and a walk to Khris Davis. That made the score 7-6 for the Tigers. Buck Farmer relieved Hardy and got a fly ball and a double play to end the inning.
After Farmer retired the side in order in the sixth inning, Louis Coleman came on for the Tigers in the seventh. He gave up a leadoff walk to Semien, who was retired when Matt Joyce reached on a fielder’s choice. After a pair of walks loaded the bases, Alex Wilson relieved Coleman. Olson grounded out to shortstop, but the tying run came across, leaving the score at 7-7 after seven frames.
The Tigers threatened in the eighth inning when Candelario doubled with one out and Castellanos was intentionally walked. After Victor Martinez struck out, Goodrum then walked to load the bases, but Hicks struck out to end the threat.
Shane Greene was called upon in a non-save situation for the ninth inning. He gave up a leadoff double to Matt Joyce and an RBI single to Lowrie to give Oakland the lead. After Davies flied out to left, Olson hit a fly ball down the left field line. Victor Reyes overran the ball, turning a routine fly ball into a single. Warwick Saupold was called in for Greene, allowing one more RBI single and the A’s were up 9-7.
The Tigers went quietly in the ninth inning, dropping them eight games below .500 and 8 1⁄2 games behind the first place Cleveland Indians. Oakland is in town for two more games.
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