Oakland Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp (4) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
DETROIT (DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Coco Crisp had three hits and drove in two as the Detroit Tigers dropped the first of a four-game set to the Oakland Athletics, 8-6, tonight at Comerica Park.
Miguel Cabrera hit his 43rd home run of the season and Omar Infante and Victor Martinez, who had four hits, also homered. Torii Hunter had a pair of singles.
Tigers pitching was not sharp in the first game back at home after the three-game sweep at the Mets. Detroit gave up 12 hits and eighth walks.
Detroit trailed, 4-2, in the fifth when Austin Jackson hit a one-out single. After Hunter's failed bunt attempt resulted in a foul out behind the plate, Cabrera stepped to the plate. After A's starter A.J. Griffin threw Strike 1, he was visited at the mound by catcher Stephen Vogt. Griffin then threw three straight balls. But Cabrera clobbered the 3-1 pitch to right to raise his RBI total to 130 on the season.
But reliever Jose Alvarez (1-4) could not keep the game tied in the sixth. Pinch hitter Nate Freiman led off with single, followed by an Alberto Callaspo single. Then, Daric Barton singled up the middle and Freiman beat the throw from Jackson to make it 5-4. After a bunt put runners at the corners, Crisp singled to left, scoring Callaspo and ending Alvarez's night.
Al Alburquerque came in and got Jed Lowrie to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Alburquerque stayed in for the seventh, where the A's scored again. With one out, Brandon Moss walked. Then with two away, Freiman walked. Then Callaspo laced a single to right to give Oakland a three-run cushion.
The Tigers mounted a threat in the seventh against reliever Dan Otero when Jackson walked and Hunter singled, sending Miguel Cabrera to the mound with two outs. But the A's elected to intentionally walk Cabrera, loading the bases for Prince Fielder. Lefty Sean Doolittle came in and got Fielder to fly out to deep left-center.
Martinez opened the eighth with a solo home run off Doolittle. Then with two outs against reliever Ryan Cook, Brayan Pena and Jose Iglesias singled, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Jackson, who walked. But Cook struck out Hunter swinging to end the threat.
In the ninth, Fielder hit a one-out single off A's closer Grant Balfour. Martinez then blooped one into left-center that Crisp couldn't field for another single. Once again, the Tigers sent the tying run to the plate. During Tuiasosopo's at bat, Balfour uncorked a wild pitch, allowing the runners to move up. Then, Tuiasosopo grounded out to third, allowing Fielder to score. Infante grounded out to short to end the game.
Anibal Sanchez gave up four earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six in five innings, throwing 112 pitches.
The A's put a pair on the board in the opening inning. Crisp began the game with a double to deep right. With one out, Josh Donaldson singled home the game's first run. Moss then singled to right, putting runners at the corners. Then, Yoenis Cespedes hit into a fielder's choice, making it 2-0.
The Tigers tied the game in the second. Andy Dirks hit a one-out single to right and Infante hit an 0-2 pitch over the wall in left for his seventh home run of the season.
But the A's quickly regained the lead when Crisp homered to right to open the third. Oakland added a run in the fouth when, with one out, Seth Smith and Callaspo drew back-to-back walks. Barton then hit an RBI single to left.
Griffin (11-9) went five innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out four.
Jeremy Bonderman gave up a run in the eighth. The ninth-place hitter, Vogt, singled to open the frame. Then with one out, Jed Lowrie doubled over Jackson's head in deep center to score Vogt. The Tigers reliever gave up two walks in the ninth.
BY KIRKLAND CRAWFORD