Oakland, CA – After a season-best three-game winning streak, the A’s lost again. This time they fell 3-2 to the Tigers losing the series. They have not won a series since taking two of three at Texas in May. Oakland’s starting pitchers have gone five consecutive games without an earned run for the first time since at least 1914.
Scott Kazmir got off to a good start when he retired the side in the first, he struck out two of the three batters he faced. But Kazmir got into a jam in the second when he fanned three batters to load the bases with two outs. Tigers center fielder, Anthony Gose lined out to third baseman Brett Lawrie to end the inning.
“I think it just started bothering him as the game went along,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “You could tell he was a little bit uncomfortable after that last pitch when he was coming off the mound. His body language wasn’t great, so we didn’t want to push him.”
￼Dan Otero replaced Kazmir, in the fourth. He lasted only three frames, allowing no hits, three walks and struck out four. Kazmir left the game due to tightness in his left shoulder. Otero surrendered a home run to former A’s player Yoenis Cespedes in the fifth. But Oakland began chipping away at the lead to rally back in the game.
“More grimace,” said catcher Stephen Vogt. “His stuff was actually pretty good, but his location was a little erratic, which is unusual of him. You could tell by the look on his face and his body language that he was comfortable.”
The A’s got two runners on base in the fourth, Josh Reddick was issued a free pass while Ben Zobrist knocked a single to center field. But Detroit crushed all hopes for the offense when they turned a double play. Vogt grounded out to second baseman Ian Kinsler who tossed the ball to shortstop Dixon Machado who bare clawed the ball before throwing to first for the out.
Gose led off the fifth with a walk and was caught stealing at second, the Tigers tried to challenge the call but got no help from the umpires who ruled Gose out. Kinsler doubled and Miguel Cabrera was walked intentionally. Cespedes cleared the bases when he went yard with a three-run homer to left field giving Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“I was confident I was going to do something,” Cespedes said. “But not necessarily hit a home run. I still have a lot of affection for that team, but I play for this team now and I want to win.”
Oakland got on the board in the seventh when Vogt led off the frame with a triple. Pinch-hitter Mark Canha’s sacrifice fly scored him in. Marcus Semien pinched hit for Sam Flud in the eighth and knocked a triple off the right field wall to leadoff the inning. Eric Sogard grounded out and drove in Semien to make it a 3-2 game. The Tigers bullpen unraveled and Oakland took advantage.
The ninth inning looked promising, Vogt led off with a single, Canha walked but closer Joacim Soria struck out the next two batters to end the game. Another frustrating day of the A’s who have the second worst record in the Majors. They are 8-18 in the month of May which is the most losses in any month since May 2009 when they went 11-18.