Originally posted on Baseball News Source  |  Last updated 10/8/13
After jumping out to an early 1-0 series lead on Friday behind a strong effort by Max Scherzer, the Detroit Tigers would falter heading into the weekend, dropping both Games 2 and 3 to the Oakland Athletics. Facing elimination at the start of Tuesday’s match-up in Detroit, the Tigers mustered up the firepower to even the series and force a Game 5, outlasting the Athletics by a score of 8-6 in a back-and-forth contest. Oakland got out to an early lead in the first inning, scoring a run on a Jed Lowrie RBI single to left field. Lowrie would later extend that lead in the fifth with a two-run shot to right field, scoring Coco Crisp and giving the Athletics a 3-0 lead. However, the Tigers would rally back in the bottom of the frame to tie the game at 3-3, coming off of a three-run blast to left by Jhonny Peralta, scoring both Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez. Oakland would counter in the seventh, grabbing a 4-3 lead on a Crisp RBI single to center. Detroit would have none of it, rallying in the bottom of the inning to grab the lead and never look back. Martinez would commence the rally with a solo shot to right, tying the game at 4-4. The play would bring with it some controversy, as a couple of fans reached for the ball as it approached the stands. Both Crisp and Josh Reddick protested the play, arguing for fan interference; however, the umpiring crew would uphold the call following a review of the home run. Later in the inning, the Tigers would grab the outright lead on an Austin Jackson RBI single to right, scoring Andy Dirks and cementing a 5-4 lead. Detroit would add three more runs in the eighth on a wild pitch and a two-run double by Omar Infante. Despite an 8-4 lead heading into the ninth, the Athletics would attempt a rally, forged by a two-run single by Yoenis Cespedes. However, with Cespedes on second representing the tying run, Detroit closer Joaquin Benoit would get Seth Smith to strikeout to end the game. Justin Verlander will most likely get the nod for Game 5 in Oakland after Scherzer was utilized in Tuesday evening’s contest, working his way out of a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the top of the seventh (his first relief appearance since the 2011 postseason). Although it is Bartolo Colon‘s turn in the rotation, Verlander may face off against Sonny Gray, who rivaled him pitch-for-pitch in Oakland’s Game 2 victory on Saturday. Expect a competitive rubber-match on Thursday, as the fight for a spot in the ALCS will more than likely come down to the wire. With that being said, sit back and enjoy the show, as great baseball will certainly be on display in Oakland.
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