A’s avoid sweep in Detroit, but lose LHP Anderson
DETROIT — The Oakland Athletics avoided a three-game sweep, yet still came out on the losing end.
Seth Smith homered, doubled and drove in four runs, and the Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers 12-4 in a matchup of AL playoff contenders. But the wild-card co-leaders also learned they would be minus starter Brett Anderson for the remainder of the regular season.
An MRI revealed Anderson sustained a Grade 2 strain of his right oblique muscle on Wednesday night, when the left-hander awkwardly fell off the mound and exited after two-plus innings.
Anderson was 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA after six games while coming off Tommy John surgery. The A’s revealed the extent of his latest injury after their victory.
“He’s a guy that’s got ace-type of stuff. It hurts to lose a starting pitcher,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. “But we’ve lost a lot of starters in the last month and a half, three.”
Melvin said he doesn’t know about Anderson’s availability for the postseason.
The team also is without Brandon McCarthy, who was hit in the head by a line drive, and Bartolo Colon, who was suspended for using a performance-enhancing drug.
Both clubs are in second place in their divisions, and Oakland is even with Baltimore for the wild-card spot.
The Tigers fell 2½ games behind the Central-leading Chicago White Sox, who played later at Kansas City.
Outscored 18-4 in the first two games, Oakland held down Miguel Cabrera to win the finale. Cabrera singled in four at-bats, and tops the AL in batting at .333.
Josh Donaldson hit a go-ahead single in a four-run sixth inning that made it 6-3, then had an RBI double to cap a six-run ninth that included Smith’s three-run double.
“We’re not the type of team to score a run here, a run there, two runs here. We’re more of a big-inning team, more often than not,” Smith said.
Pat Neshek (2-1) retired the only batter he faced and got the win.
Anibal Sanchez (3-6), who held Cleveland hitless for 6 2-3 innings in his last start, gave up six runs on six hits and two walks in 5 2-3 innings.
Smith hit his 14th homer, a solo shot in the fifth that made it 2-all. The Tigers retook the lead in the bottom half when Cabrera singled and scored on Prince Fielder’s double.
The A’s went ahead for good in the sixth. Brandon Moss hit a tying double with one out and after Chris Carter struck out and Smith was walked intentionally, Donaldson singled.
Phil Coke relieved and George Kottaras hit a liner that center fielder Austin Jackson misjudged, the ball sailing over his head for a two-run triple.
“It kind of knuckled. I was right there. It just took a left turn on me,” Jackson said.
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