A's hit 3 HRs to take 2-1 series leadOct 8, 2013 - 4:00 AM Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - After baby-faced rookie Sonny Gray outdueled Justin Verlander to even the American League Division Series, the Oakland Athletics went back to their bread and butter in Game 3.
They used the long ball.
Seth Smith smacked a two-run homer and Brandon Moss added a solo shot in a go- ahead, three-run fifth inning as the A's downed the Detroit Tigers, 6-3, to take a 2-1 lead in the ALDS.
Josh Reddick cracked a solo blast for Oakland, which can advance to the American League Championship Series with a victory in Game 4 on Tuesday.
"Regardless of the outcome today, we will approach tomorrow's game the same way," Smith said. "You want to win every playoff game. I'm sure if we wouldn't have won today, I guess some coaching things would have been done differently. But as far as playing the game, it's another game we would like to win and we will go out and approach it that way."
Anibal Sanchez (0-1), the AL's ERA leader (2.57), allowed just 0.45 homers per nine innings during the season, but gave up all three of the Oakland homers in his 4 1/3 frames of work.
"Sometimes he starts out a little slow," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "Today he just really didn't get it going. He made a couple of real bad pitches the last inning he was out there to Moss and Smith."
The A's, who were third in MLB during the regular season with 186 homers, had tallied just three runs and 11 hits in the first two tilts of the set, but pounded out 10 hits in Game 3.
Grant Balfour tossed a scoreless ninth for the save. He and Victor Martinez traded barbs during an at-bat, which caused the benches and bullpens to empty.
Coco Crisp had two doubles among his three hits to go with an RBI and a run scored, while Jarrod Parker (1-0) surrendered three runs on five hits and a walk over five innings to pick up the win.
Sanchez was shelled for six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits and two walks for the Tigers, who have scored in just two innings thus far in this series.
In an effort to boost the suddenly anemic offense, Jhonny Peralta was inserted into the starting lineup. Peralta, who played left field instead of his regular shortstop position, was suspended 50 games in early August as part of baseball's investigation of the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic.
Peralta's two-run single highlighted Detroit's three-run fourth, which tied the game at 3-3, but Oakland surged ahead in the fifth.
Moss ripped a one-out blast into the right-field seats to give the A's the lead and after Yoenis Cespedes singled, Smith launched an opposite-field shot over the wall in left center to give Oakland a 6-3 edge.
Detroit grounded into inning-ending double plays in each of its next two frames and mustered just one hit over the last three innings.
The A's opened the scoring in the third and tacked on two more runs in the fourth.
Crisp started the third with a single, later stole second and came home on Miguel Cabrera's fielding error when Cespedes bounced one to third.
Reddick lifted a leadoff shot that carried into the right-field seats and after Game 2 hero Stephen Vogt tripled into right field, Crisp's sacrifice fly to left two batters later increased the A's spread to 3-0.
Martinez's RBI double accounted for Detroit's other run in the fourth.
Oakland's Dan Straily and Detroit's Doug Fister are the projected starters for Game 4 ... Oakland snapped a four-game postseason losing streak ... The A's were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, while the Tigers finished 2- for-3.
- OAKLAND: 6
Oct 7 4:42 PM
- Seth Smith one-out, two-run Home Run (1) to left center scored Yoenis Cespedes. Josh Reddick due up.
Athletics 6, Tigers 3 Top 5, 1 OutOct 7 3:00 PM
- Brandon Moss one-out, solo Home Run (1) to right. Yoenis Cespedes due up.
Athletics 4, Tigers 3 Top 5, 1 OutOct 7 2:51 PM
- Jhonny Peralta single to left scored Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez with one out. Runner on first and Alex Avila due up.
Athletics 3, Tigers 3 Bot 4, 1 OutOct 7 2:39 PM
- Victor Martinez double to right scored Torii Hunter with one out. On the play, Prince Fielder advances to third. Runners on second and third and Jhonny Peralta due up.
Athletics 3, Tigers 1 Bot 4, 1 OutOct 7 2:37 PM
- Coco Crisp sacrifice fly to left scored Stephen Vogt with two outs. None on and Josh Donaldson due up.
Athletics 3, Tigers 0 Top 4, 2 OutsOct 7 2:22 PM
- Josh Reddick lead-off Home Run (1) to right. Stephen Vogt due up.
Athletics 2, Tigers 0 Top 4, 0 OutsOct 7 2:17 PM
- Yoenis Cespedes reached first on Miguel Cabrera's fielding error scored Coco Crisp with two outs. On the play, Josh Donaldson advances to second. Runners on first and second with two outs and Seth Smith due up.
Athletics 1, Tigers 0 Top 3, 2 OutsOct 7 2:02 PM
- OAKLAND: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Oct 7 1:09 PM
- Zimmermann expected to miss at least 1 start for Tigers May 23
- Athletics-Mariners Preview May 23
- LEADING OFF: Kershaw tests streak vs Reds, Colon faces Nats May 23
- Ejections aplenty for Blue Jays lately May 23
- Baseball Capsules May 22
- Tigers beat Rays 9-4 but Zimmermann, Cabrera hurt May 22
- Bad day gets worse for Athletics in 5-4 loss to Yankees May 22
- Pineda ends slump; Yanks top Oakland 5-4 to win 5th straight May 22
- Phillies-Tigers Preview May 22
- Eickhoff shuts down Braves over 7 innings, Phillies win 5-0 May 22
- Archer hit hard as Rays fall 9-4 to Tigers May 22
- Cabrera leaves game after being hit in knee area with pitch May 22