DETROIT — A dropped fly, two wild pitches and a little smooch for the baseball by a relieved reliever.
Then Don Kelly brought it all to an end with a simple fly ball.
Kelly scored the tying run on a wild pitch in the eighth inning, then hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth that lifted the Detroit Tigers over the Oakland Athletics 5-4 Sunday for a 2-0 lead in their AL playoff series.
“Was looking for a fastball and I got it,” Kelly said. “It’s a great feeling. To be able to go out there in that situation and do that.”
Detroit will go for a sweep of the division series matchup in Game 3 on Tuesday at Oakland.
“We just need to win a game,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “If you start thinking about three games ahead, you lose your focus on Tuesday’s game.”
Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera doubled twice for the Tigers, hit a fly ball that resulted in a two-run error and later singled in the ninth.
The Tigers overcame three A’s leads and seesawed to victory. It was 1-all before a wild final three innings that included a big Oakland misplay, two game-tying wild pitches and several momentum changes.
It was the sixth straight postseason loss for the A’s, all to Detroit. The Tigers swept Oakland in the 2006 AL championship series, winning the series on Magglio Ordonez’s homer.