OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - David DeJesus and Kurt Suzuki both hit long home runs off Detroit starter Max Scherzer. Both Oakland players paid a painful price, too
It's been that kind of season for the Athletics this year. A few memorable plays and a collection of forgettable ones.
At least this time they won - ending Detroit's 12-game winning streak and preventing the Tigers from clinching the AL Central, to boot.
DeJesus hit a three-run home run in the first inning, Suzuki added a solo shot in the second and Oakland beat Detroit 6-1 on Thursday night.
Scherzer later hit both players on the elbow - Suzuki by a changeup leading off the fourth and DeJesus by a fastball in the fifth.
``It was a cold night, too,' said A's manager Bob Melvin, who made his major league debut as a player with the Tigers in 1985. ``We do have some power, and we've been better in the second half. But this ballpark can be tough to hit home runs into.'
Cliff Pennington also homered for Oakland, marking just the third game this season the A's have hit three home runs in one game. They had only 101 home runs total before beating Detroit.
DeJesus ended a 79 at-bat homerless streak with his three-run shot with two outs in the first.
``Usually you don't get home runs here at night,' DeJesus said. ``But the ball was carrying a little bit tonight and we were able to take advantage of it.
Brandon McCarthy pitched seven strong innings while Coco Crisp added three hits and drove in a run in his return to the A's lineup following a five-game absence due to a sore foot.'
Delmon Young hit a home run for the Tigers, who still say their magic number drop to one when the Cleveland Indians fell to the Texas Rangers 7-4 earlier in the evening. The Tigers need any combination of a win or a Cleveland loss over the final 12 games to clinch the division.
McCarthy (9-8) allowed one run on five hits to improve to 3-2 with a 2.15 ERA over his last five starts. He walked two and struck out eight.
``His ball was up for a good portion of the game, which usually for him is not the case,' Melvin said. ``I didn't think his command was as good early on and got getting better and better. Really his best inning was the seventh.'
Scherzer (14-9) lasted five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out eight.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland will get a new change of underwear when his team goes for their first outright title since 1987 on Friday night. He said before the game that he had not changed (nor washed) his underwear during the 12-game winning streak.
The Tigers have not finished first since taking the AL East nearly a quarter-century ago. Their only playoff appearance since then came in 2006, when they won the wild card.
Crisp got Oakland going with a single leading off the first. He was forced at second by Pennington. After Hideki Matsui fouled out, Scherzer walked Josh Willingham ahead of DeJesus.
``He threw a changeup and my thought process was to go the other way but I was able to stay through the ball and get it over the wall,' DeJesus said. ``It was a big inning to just get us going in the right direction and we rode our pitching the rest of the way.'
Suzuki led off the second with a home run and Pennington led off the fifth with a homer. Crisp doubled home a run in the eighth.
Young's home run made it 4-1 in the third.
Magglio Ordonez extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a first-inning single but Ramon Santiago went 0-for-3, ending his nine-game streak.
The A's (22-20) and Tigers (22-19) had similar records following game action on May 17. The teams have gone in notably different directions since.
Detroit was eight games behind the Cleveland Indians and four games under .500 on May 3. The Tigers have played .625 ball since and is one the verge of becoming the sixth team since 2000 to win a division title after being behind by at least eight games at some point in the season.
Notes: The last time the A's played a team on a 12-game hitting streak was at Baltimore in 1999. ... RHP Trevor Cahill (11-13, 4.32) goes for the A's on Friday night. The former All-Star is 3-6 with a 6.86 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star Break. He beat the Tigers on April 17, allowing one run in eight innings. ... Doug Fister (8-13, 3.06) makes the start for the Tigers on Friday night. He has been outstanding since joining the Tigers, going 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA. He is 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA in his last five starts. ... A's IF Jemile Weeks (leg cramps) was out of the starting lineup for the second straight day ads a precautionary measure.
The Associated Press News Service
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