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Preview: Athletics (65-39) at Tigers (56-46)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 4
Venue: O.co Coliseum
Date: October 08, 2013 5:07 PM EDT
  

After struggling in the first two games against the Detroit Tigers, Oakland's lineup finally came to life against one of the league's top pitchers.

One win from reaching the AL championship series for the first time in seven years, the Athletics face a pitcher they knocked around just over a month ago.

The A's look to build on their latest showing and again frustrate Doug Fister as they try to close out the Tigers in Game 4 at Comerica Park on Tuesday.

Despite splitting the two AL division series games in Oakland, the A's looked a bit shaky having totaled three runs and three extra-base hits. Things didn't look promising Monday with a matchup against Anibal Sanchez, the AL's ERA leader at 2.57, but Oakland took him deep three times on its way to a 6-3 victory.

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Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and Seth Smith homered off the pitcher who allowed an AL-best 0.45 homers per nine innings during the regular season.

"We're going to strike out and we're going to hit the long ball, so once we get those going, it's going to be a good day," Reddick told the Athletics' official website. "And to do it against a guy like Sanchez, who's been great all year, it does a lot for your confidence coming into (Tuesday)."

The A's, though, should already be brimming with confidence considering they tagged Fister (14-9, 3.67 ERA) for season highs of seven runs and 13 hits in five innings of a 14-4 win Aug. 28.

Fister, however, did throw seven innings of two-run ball against Oakland in Game 2 of last year's ALDS. He owns a 1.71 ERA over five career postseason starts but had good and bad performances over this season's final 5 1/2 weeks. The right-hander had a 1.32 ERA in four outings and a 7.58 mark in the other three.

Things got interesting in the ninth inning of Game 3 when A's closer Grant Balfour and Detroit hitter Victor Martinez started shouting at each other after a foul ball, causing benches and bullpens to empty. Martinez took exception to the normally fiery Balfour yelling in his direction.

"There's no tricks. We've got to win the game (Tuesday) to try to extend it to Game 5. It's that simple," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

The A's, who last made the ALCS in 2006 when they were swept by Detroit, are also focused on winning Game 4 so they avoid another matchup with Game 1 winner Max Scherzer.

"We look at it as we have one to win one. If we get to five, we get to Game 5," Moss said. "This is not a team you want to give any momentum to. They're too good."

Moss is hitting .444 with five homers, 11 RBIs and eight runs in five games at Comerica Park this season. He is 3 for 5 with a double against Fister, including the playoffs.

The A's turn to Dan Straily (10-8, 3.96), who was strong during Oakland's playoff push, going 4-1 with a 2.00 ERA in his final six starts. That stretch began opposite Fister at Comerica Park, when the right-hander gave up a run and eight hits in six innings.

"We either score runs or we go home," said AL batting champion Miguel Cabrera, who is 3 for 12 in the series.

Cabrera has reached base in all 27 of his postseason games with the Tigers, but he's been slowed by groin problems and was charged with an error in the third inning that led to the game's first run Monday.

"This is on everybody," Cabrera said. "We all need to do better."

Coco Crisp, who had two doubles and a single Monday, is batting .368 (7 for 19) in all matchups with Fister.

Crisp's first-inning double came just past the outstretched arm of a diving Torii Hunter. The Detroit right fielder injured his left shoulder on the play but stayed in and is expected to be in the lineup for Game 4.

Hunter has two singles in 10 at_bats in this series but has feasted on Straily's pitching, going 7 for 10 with three homers and a double.

"To be down, 2-1, the pressure's off us," Hunter told the Tigers' official website. "We can go out there, play our game and not worry about too much."

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Tigers at Athletics
Fri, Oct 4 Final 3 to 2
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Tigers at Athletics
Sat, Oct 5 Final 0 to 1
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Athletics at Tigers
Mon, Oct 7 Final 6 to 3
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 4
Athletics at Tigers
Tue, Oct 8 Final 6 to 8
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 5
Tigers at Athletics
Thu, Oct 10 Final 3 to 0
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 OAK  +135   -160   7.5 
 DET  -145   +140   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 OAK  +135   -160   7.5 
 DET  -150   +140   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 OAK  45%   22%   74% 
 DET  55%   78%   26% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Oct 7, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OAK 6 Cover: +140 
 DET 3 Over: 9 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Oct 5, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 DET 0 Under: 1 
 OAK 1 Cover: +101 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Oct 4, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 DET 3 Cover: +100 
 OAK 2 Under: 5 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 29, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OAK 6 Over: 13 
 DET 7 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 28, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OAK 14 Cover: +145 
 DET 4 Over: 18 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 27, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OAK 6 Cover: +150 
 DET 3 Over: 9 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 26, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 OAK 8 Cover: +150 
 DET 6 Over: 14 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 14, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 DET 10 Cover: +100 
 OAK 1 Over: 11 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 13, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 DET 7 Cover: +100 
 OAK 3 Over: 10 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 12, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 DET 3 Under: 7 
 OAK 4 Cover: +105 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Tuesday, Oct 8
 
    Athletics at Tigers
5:05 PM EDT
    Red Sox at Rays
8:35 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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