Grand slam lifts A’s past Tigers
By DAVE HOGG
DETROIT — Jed Lowrie was ready for Alex Wilson.
“I’ve faced Alex before, and I know he’s got a good cutter,” Lowrie said.
Lowrie hit a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning, and the Oakland Athletics overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Detroit Tigers 9-8 Tuesday night.
“I was able to get on top of it,” Lowrie said. “We ground out a lot of at bats to get back in it, and it ends up as a fun night of baseball.”
The start of the game was delayed 15 minutes after afternoon rain, and the nine innings stretched on for 3 hours, 58 minutes.
“When it isn’t vital to win a game for a pennant race, it takes some of the energy out of the game,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “Both teams battled all night tonight, though.”
Detroit trailed 3-0 in the third inning, then took an 8-4 lead into the seventh, when Ryon Healy hit a bases-loaded grounder to shortstop Jose Iglesias, who bobbled the ball for an error as Lowrie scored.
Joey Wendle, Franklin Barreto and Chad Pinder started the eighth with singles off Wilson (2-5), and Lowrie followed with his third career slam.
Wilson entered with a 3.07 ERA since moving into the setup role after the Tigers traded Justin Wilson to the Chicago Cubs.
“He’s been really good for us all year,” Ausmus said. “The nature of pitching at the back end of the bullpen means that you are going to be in a lot of close games, so when you make a mistake, it probably costs your team the lead.”
Miguel Cabrera singled off Chris Hatcher starting the bottom of the eighth and took third on Nicholas Castellanos’ double. But Jeimer Candelario grounded out and, after an intentional walk, Hatcher struck out James McCann and Mikie Mahtook.
“The key was the ground out,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. “Once Hatch got that, we could move the defense back and play for two. That was a great job of pitching.”
Santiago Casilla (4-5) pitched a perfect seventh, and Blake Treinen allowed Alex Presley’s two-out single in the sixth before retiring Andrew Romine on a groundout for his ninth save.
Oakland’s Matt Olson homered for the fifth straight game, tying Matt Stairs (1998), Dave Kingman (1986) and George Alusik (1962) for the second-longest streak in Athletics history behind Frank Thomas’s six in 2006.
“It’s cool, but honestly, I would like to mix in another hit one of these games,” he said.