DETROIT (AP) — The Oakland Athletics have beaten Detroit with both pitching and power. And that’s left the Tigers on the brink of elimination — and simmering with frustration.
Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and Seth Smith homered for the Athletics, who chased Anibal Sanchez in the fifth inning Monday and defeated the Tigers 6-3 for a 2-1 AL division series lead.
Moss broke a 3-all tie in the fifth with a solo shot, and Smith’s two-run drive later in the inning ended Sanchez’s day. It was an impressive offensive show after the teams split two taut, low-scoring games in Oakland.
This one got a little tense in the ninth, too, when A’s closer Grant Balfour and Detroit hitter Victor Martinez started shouting at each other after a foul ball, causing benches and bullpens to empty.
The A’s aren’t worried about making friends, especially after losing to the Tigers in a five-game division series last year. Oakland can close out this series Tuesday and reach the AL championship series for the first time since 2006 — when the Athletics were swept by the Tigers.
Oakland will send rookie Dan Straily to the mound against Detroit’s Doug Fister.
Coco Crisp had two doubles and a single for the A’s.
Red Sox lose to Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Boston closer Koji Uehara had been virtually untouchable the past three months.
Jose Lobaton changed that with one swing.
Lobaton hit a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning off Uehara into the giant fish tank beyond the center-field wall, and the Tampa Bay Rays staved off elimination once again by beating the Red Sox 5-4 on Monday night.
Evan Longoria had a three-run homer and the Rays prevented a playoff sweep, cutting Boston’s lead to 2-1 in the best-of-five series. Game 4 is Tuesday night at Tropicana Field, with Jake Peavy starting for the Red Sox against Jeremy Hellickson.
Tampa Bay took a win-or-go-home game for the fourth time in nine days. The Rays did it with an unlikely stroke from Lobaton, who came off the bench to catch in the top of the ninth.
The Red Sox tied it in the ninth against closer Fernando Rodney. Dustin Pedroia’s RBI grounder made it 4-all.