After deflating losses, it's desperation time in the 'D'

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After deflating losses, it's desperation time in the 'D'

DETROIT -- One of the symbols of the Motor City is a huge 80-foot tall Uniroyal Tire that stands on the side of the I-94 freeway. It can be seen on the drive from the airport to the ballpark. The tire is one of the largest roadside attractions in the world. The Giants may as well pay it a visit on the way out of town and flatten it too. Because they've managed to take the air completely out of the Tigers' tires this entire series. The numbers are staggering. San Francisco's starting pitchers have allowed just one run in the first three games. They've held the Tigers scoreless in back-to-back games. They are up three games to none and no team in 23 chances has blown a lead like that in World Series history.
RATTO: Giants' starting staff pitching at historic level
"I can paint a rosy picture, but the picture isn't rosy right now," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "So, I can stay up here and try to paint the best picture, but we've got to go out and win a game somehow." The deadly fangs in the Tigers' bite, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, have been ground to a harmless nub by the Giants arms. Cabrera and Fielder are hitting a combined .158 with no homers and one RBI. In Game 3, Cabrera popped out with the bases loaded and earlier in the game Fielder grounded into an inning-ending double play with two runners on. After the Game 3 loss, Cabrera ducked out without speaking to the media. That may not sound like a huge crime, but as a veteran and a leader on the team, Cabrera not speaking to the media leaves the younger and less experienced players stuck answering the tough questions after a loss on the game's biggest stage. "I will deal with the situation and check into it," Leyland said. "You can't be on this podium only when you win. When we're 0-3, I've got to be up here and I'm not the happiest camper in the world." The Tigers have plenty of reasons to be frustrated. They aren't getting it done when it matters the most. Tigers hitters are a combined 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position in the World Series. With runners in scoring position in the regular season the Tigers hit .286. In the ALDS they hit .250 with RISP. In the ALCS their average with RISP was .295.
"We'd love to be swinging the bats great but all postseason we really haven't swung the bats," designated hitter Delmon Young said. "We hit at the right time against Oakland, New York looked like us right now."The Tigers embarrassed a Yankees team that looked completely lost in the ALCS in a four-game sweep. Their dominance may have done more damage than good. The result of the sweep was a five-day layoff while the Giants battled the Cardinals in a seven-game NLCS. The Tigers spent the days off scrimmaging and working out in hopes of avoiding the dreaded rust factor, but in the World Series they're having trouble grinding out quality at-bats. To the Tigers' credit, they aren't blaming the time off for their struggles. "I don't think we could have worked any harder," outfielder Quintin Berry said. "We went through pretty much a full day of spring training every day." "There's nothing possibly we could have done more," he added. -- In order to stay alive, Detroit will have to beat Giants' ace Matt Cain. He is starting the fourth game of the series because he pitched Game 7 in the NLCS. Cain is 4-2 with 1.83 ERA in seven career postseason starts. Cain has never faced the Tigers and is making his Comerica Park debut. --Max Scherzer takes the hill for Detroit. He is 2-1 with a 3.71 ERA in six career postseason games. He is 1-3 with a 5.12 ERA in four appearances against the Giants. He was lit up in his previous start against San Francisco. On July 2, 2011, he faced the Giants at Comerica Park and lasted just two innings and allowed nine runs -- six earned. If the Tigers can survive Game 4 they get ace Justin Verlander on the mound with a chance to swing momentum back in their favor. While the situation is certainly grim, the Tigers believe anything can happen. "It's not another day at the office but it's not desperation either," scheduled Game Five starting pitcher Justin Verlander said. "Hey, we won four in a row against the Yankees. "Who's to say we can't do it against these guys." -- Alex Avila was scratched from the lineup on Sunday with a sore right wrist. He incurred the injury when he was stuck by a foul ball. Gerald Laird takes his spot in the lineup.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's first road sweep of 2017

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's first road sweep of 2017

BOX SCORE

The A’s sprung to life offensively in the late innings Sunday and polished off their first road sweep of 2017.

They scored all five of their runs over the final three innings to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3, continuing an odd stretch of streakiness. The A’s swept the New York Yankees in four at the Coliseum, then turned around and dropped four in a row to the Houston Astros before arriving in Chicago and taking all three from the Sox. It’s their first sweep on the road since they won four in Kansas City from Sept. 12-15 of last season.

The weekend’s events provided a morale boost for a team that began the series an American League-worst 9-25 away from home. The sweep also featured numerous contributions from a pack of recently promoted young players fresh from the minors.

The A’s had no answer for left-hander Derek Holland through six-plus innings, mustering just four hits off the veteran. But trailing 2-0, they got on the board with Jed Lowrie’s pinch-hit RBI double in the seventh. The next inning, Khris Davis singled home the tying run and Yonder Alonso followed with a go-ahead single down the left-field line to put the A’s up 3-2.

They tacked on two insurance runs in the ninth on back-to-back homers from Adam Rosales and Matt Joyce.

Sonny rebounds: Sonny Gray (3-3) avoided the early trouble that plagued his last start, working seven innings and being rewarded with a victory thanks to the A’s eighth-inning rally. He struck out seven and walked just one. That was a key as Gray had issued seven free passes combined in his previous two starts. Adam Engel hit a 2-1 fastball for a homer in the third, then Jose Abreu scored on a passed ball in the fourth to give Chicago a 2-0 lead. But Gray held the Sox to just four hits over his seven innings.

Sign of things to come? Franklin Barreto got a look as the No. 2 hitter in the order Sunday, a spot that some scouts feel he’ll be well suited for as his career unfolds. He singled to the opposite field in his first at-bat, then struck out looking in his next two trips to the plate. In the eighth, his broken-bat single to left jumpstarted Oakland’s two-run go-ahead rally. Barreto is 4-for-10 in his first two games with the big club.

Joyce provides a lift off the bench: Joyce entered as a pinch runner in the seventh and connected for his 10th homer, right after Rosales had gone deep himself. Joyce became the fourth Athletic to crack double figures in homers, and the A’s improved to 31-26 when they hit at least one home run (they’re 3-16 when they don’t).

Doo does it again: Lefty reliever Sean Doolittle continued to deal since coming off the disabled list. He threw a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts and has allowed just one hit over five innings in six appearances since his return.

An unwanted milestone: The Sox scored their second run on a passed ball by Josh Phegley, which accounted for Oakland’s 50th unearned run, most in the majors. They had just 43 unearned runs all of last season.

Former A's catcher Stephen Vogt claimed by NL Central team

Former A's catcher Stephen Vogt claimed by NL Central team

A new team believes in Stephen Vogt.

The former A's catcher, who was designated for assignment on Thursday, was claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

The A's announced the transaction shortly before their game against the White Sox.

News of the Brewers making the waiver claim was first reported by ESPN.

The Brewers were the only team to place a waiver claim on Vogt, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Vogt, a clubhouse leader and one of the longest tenured A's, hit just .217 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 54 games this season.