About the only encouraging thing for the A’s on Wednesday was the thought of climbing on board their charter and heading home.
Oakland finished out a miserable three days in Detroit with a 9-3 loss that capped a three-game sweep for the Tigers. That came after the A’s had just swept the Miami Marlins, and the shift in mood was dramatic once they arrived at Comerica Park.
They lost on a walk-off grand slam Monday, then their bats got silenced in a shutout loss against Rick Porcello on Tuesday. The A’s got off to a promising start Wednesday when Coco Crisp and Brandon Moss tagged Justin Verlander for first-inning homers, but the A’s then shut it down offensively.
They trailed just 3-2 in the sixth but failed to score after putting a runner on third with no outs. Then the Tigers pounced in the bottom half of the inning, batting around during a six-run rally that broke it open.
The A’s open a six-game homestand Thursday against American League East-leading Toronto, which swept Oakland in a series at the Rogers Center in May. The A’s need to reverse their momentum considering that the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners both entered Wednesday having won eight of their past 10. Oakland’s division lead was just three games over the Angels pending Los Angeles’ result Wednesday night.
Starting pitching report
Jesse Chavez was not in sharp form on the hill. He walked four and wound up charged with five runs in five-plus innings. Two of those runs came after he left the game, but the right-hander didn’t leave his team in a good position when he left the game. Detroit’s six-run sixth inning began with Chavez allowing back-to-back walks before exiting the game.
He also had trouble finishing off innings. Detroit’s first three runs all came on two-out singles, including two from Torii Hunter. Chavez (6-5) has issued seven walks over his past two outings (10 IP).
Rough day for Jim Johnson, who had been showing improved form of late. He gave up four consecutive hits in the sixth inning, including a two-run single from (who else?) Rajai Davis, a broken-bat RBI infield single from Ian Kinsler and a two-run double from Miguel Cabrera.
At the plate
Crisp led off the game with a homer to right, and Moss followed with a two-out bomb deep to right-center off Verlander. You had the feeling the A’s might salvage something against a pitcher that has been a shell of his former Cy Young Award self this season. But it was a bad omen when the A’s couldn’t capitalize on later opportunites. They loaded the bases with two outs in the third but couldn’t score. With runners on the corners and no outs in the sixth, Stephen Vogt popped up, Jed Lowrie hit a fly to center that was too shallow to score a run, and after Nate Freiman was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Nick Punto flied out to right.
In the field
The Tigers tied the game 2-2 in the third with help from Austin Jackson’s double, a deep drive to left in which Vogt looked shaky going back on and had the ball glance off his glove. With Yoenis Cespedes serving as DH, Vogt made his first start of the season in left.
The A’s open a six-game homestand Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays. Sonny Gray (7-3, 3.20) matches up against R.A. Dickey (6-7, 4.24) in a 6:05 p.m. contest. A fireworks show follows the game.