There was no late-game heartache for the A’s on Tuesday night.
The theme of a 3-0 loss to Detroit was set quickly, as Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello established early on that Oakland wouldn’t be accomplishing much with the bat.
On Monday, the A’s had the rug pulled out from under them by Rajai Davis’ walkoff grand slam against Sean Doolittle. If you were looking for drama Tuesday, Comerica Park was not the place to be.
The A’s mustered just four hits against Porcello, a right-hander who won his 11th game of the season but came into the night just 3-5 with a 4.36 ERA lifetime against Oakland. He didn’t notch a single strikeout but also allowed little in the way of solid contact.
Were the A’s experiencing a hangover from Monday night’s disappointment? They swung the bats like they were. Jed Lowrie doubled and singled, Stephen Vogt singled in the fifth and Craig Gentry beat out an infield single in the eighth. That was it.
Porcello didn’t walk a batter, and other than Lowrie reaching third base with two outs in the second, the A’s didn’t advance a runner past first base.
Starting pitching report
Brad Mills (1-1) was solid, allowing six hits and three walks with six strikeouts in six-plus innings. But the way Porcello was dealing, the lefty had absolutely no margin for error. The Tigers broke a scoreless tie in the fourth when Miguel Cabrera walked, moved around to third on J.D. Martinez’s double and scored on Torii Hunter’s groundout.
Then Martinez dealt the game’s most damaging blow in the sixth, blasting the first pitch he saw from Mills for a two-run homer to left to make it 3-0.
A highlight for the A’s was another strong effort from Jim Johnson. After he turned in a strong 2 1/3 innings Saturday against Miami, Johnson had a scoreless seventh that included a ground-ball double play off the bat of Austin Jackson.
At the plate
The A’s just couldn’t establish anything against Porcello. Lowrie, who had three RBI the night before, was the only Athletic to experience moderate success Tuesday. He blooped a double to left field in the second and singled to right in the seventh. It was a good sign from a player who is hitting just .226 on the season.
In the field
Rajai Davis is no easy player to nail on the basepaths, but Stephen Vogt threw out the speedy outfielder on a fifth-inning steal attempt of second.
Shortstop Jed Lowrie committed a fielding error in the third that did not come back to hurt the A’s. Other than that, it was a matter of Tigers defenders making a lot of routine plays in support of Porcello.
The A’s close out this eight-game road trip Wednesday at 10:08 a.m., with Jesse Chavez (6-4, 2.94) matched up against Justin Verlander (6-7, 4.80).