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Oakland at Detroit

W: B. Zito (12-10) L: M. Maroth (11-12)
HR: OAK - M. Ellis (5), D. Johnson (11), J. Payton (16)   DET - None

Athletics slowly getting back on track after second win

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

DETROIT -- Barry Zito pitched in a haze he enjoyed as the Oakland Athletics appeared to break out of their funk with a second straight strong day at the plate.

Zito didn't give up a run in six solid innings, and Mark Ellis, Dan Johnson and Jay Payton homered to lead the A's to an 11-1 win over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.

Zito (12-10) gave up four hits, three walks and struck out six.

"I was kind of lethargic mentally," he said. "But that works to my advantage. It helps me not freak out because you're not attentive to every little hit, or what a fan is saying. It's better just to be in a little bit of a daze."

In the first, Zito got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam with a double play.

"That was probably the crossroads of the whole game," Oakland manager Ken Macha said.

After benefiting from the double play, Zito didn't allow a runner to reach second until the sixth inning. He started in Rich Harden's place, and somebody else will have to take Harden's scheduled start on Saturday because of his shoulder injury.

Oakland won its second straight -- after dropping seven of nine -- to remain in a tie with the New York Yankees for the AL wild-card lead.

Are the A's -- who were 39-14 in June and July -- back on a roll?

"I'll be curious to see myself because on Tuesday, that wasn't the same club," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "They got it together the last couple of days. They're playing very well, but for whatever reason, when (Eric) Chavez came back yesterday it seemed to give them a little lift."

Chavez was back in the lineup Wednesday after missing a game to be with his wife, who gave birth to the couple's first child.

Until a 9-2 victory Wednesday, the A's had not scored more than five runs in 13 straight games, dating to an 11-0 win Aug. 7 at Kansas City.

"If I could figure out this team, I'd be a genius," Ellis said. "We're all either swinging the bat well at the same time, or not."

Zito suffered from Oakland's recent lack of run production. He was 0-2 in his previous three starts, despite a 3.26 ERA during that stretch.

He was able to pitch with an early cushion Thursday.

Oakland scored two in the first, one in the second, two in the third, three in the fourth and one in the fifth to build a huge lead Zito didn't even need because he was pitching so well after his shaky start.

Detroit's Mike Maroth (11-12), who had won three straight decisions, had his worst outing of the year, lasting just 3 2/3 innings. He gave up a season-high eight runs -- matching a career high -- and 10 hits.

"I was leaving a lot of balls over the plate," Maroth said. "I pretty much did what you don't want to do as a pitcher. It seemed like I was getting behind hitters, and when I did get ahead, I wasn't able to put them away."

Bobby Kielty, Johnson and Payton had two RBIs apiece. Jason Kendall and Ellis each had three hits.

Kendall started Oakland's barrage with a leadoff single in the first and scored on Chavez's single, and Kielty's RBI single made it 2-0. Ellis hit a solo homer in the second.

Kielty drove in another run with a groundout, then Johnson made it 5-0 in the third with an RBI single.

Kendall's RBI double, Mark Kotsay's RBI single and Bobby Crosby's RBI groundout gave the A's an 8-0 lead in the fourth. Johnson's 434-foot shot to right gave them a nine-run lead in the fifth.

Chris Shelton's RBI double off Jay Witasick in the eighth made it 9-1. Payton hit a two-run homer in the ninth.


  • Tigers RHP Jeremy Bonderman, whose right wrist was struck by a line drive Wednesday, said he plans to play catch on Friday and hopes to not miss his next turn in the rotation.
  • In a best case scenario, Harden would return to the rotation Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels.
  • The 2005 All-Star Game and related activities in Detroit generated more than $52 million in spending in southeastern Michigan, according to an analysis released Thursday.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Oakland's Barry Zito improves to 12-10 by tossing six shutout innings.  (AP)
Oakland's Barry Zito improves to 12-10 by tossing six shutout innings. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Kendall
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0

M. Ellis
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

Related Video

Oakland Athletics
Jason Kendall, C5231003 .265
Mark Kotsay, CF5121011 .271
Bobby Crosby, SS5111011 .280
Eric Chavez, 3B3111103 .283
   a- Keith Ginter, PH-3B1000000 .167
Bobby Kielty, DH2012000 .267
   b- Scott Hatteberg, PH-DH3110012 .267
Dan Johnson, 1B5122022 .305
Jay Payton, LF5112001 .270
Nick Swisher, RF3100110 .250
Mark Ellis, 2B5231010 .307
a-grounded out for Chavez in the 8th
b-grounded out for Kielty in the 4th
2B - Jason Kendall (20, Maroth), Mark Kotsay (27, Maroth)
HR - Dan Johnson (11, German), Jay Payton (16, Dingman), Mark Ellis (5, Maroth)
RBI - Jason Kendall (38), Mark Kotsay (64), Bobby Crosby (34), Eric Chavez (76), Bobby Kielty 2 (50), Dan Johnson 2 (37), Jay Payton 2 (52), Mark Ellis (33)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Chavez (22), Bobby Kielty (23), Dan Johnson (9), Mark Ellis (15)
SB - Jason Kendall (7, 2nd base off Maroth/V. Wilson)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Crosby-Ellis-Johnson, Johnson
E - Keith Ginter (6, Wild throw)
Oakland Athletics
Barry Zito (W,12-10) 6400360 3.49
Justin Duchscherer 1100010 1.85
Jay Witasick 2211010 2.74
WP - Jay Witasick (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Barry Zito 99-61, Justin Duchscherer 19-11, Jay Witasick 25-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Barry Zito 5-5, Jay Witasick 1-4
Batters Faced - Barry Zito 23, Justin Duchscherer 4, Jay Witasick 8
Detroit Tigers
Placido Polanco, 2B3030000 .338
    John McDonald, 2B1110000 .295
Brandon Inge, 3B4000013 .266
Chris Shelton, 1B4021012 .319
Magglio Ordonez, RF1000200 .305
    Curtis Granderson, LF1000001 .277
Dmitri Young, LF3000003 .266
    Nook Logan, CF1000001 .263
Craig Monroe, CF-RF3010110 .284
Carlos Pena, DH4000021 .218
Omar Infante, SS4000011 .231
Vance Wilson, C3000021 .181
2B - Chris Shelton (16, Witasick)
RBI - Chris Shelton (43)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Magglio Ordonez 1
E - Brandon Inge (20, Misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
Mike Maroth (L,11-12) 3.21088011 4.98
Franklyn German 2.1211121 2.98
Vic Darensbourg 1100110 2.89
Chris Spurling 1000000 3.38
Craig Dingman 1222031 3.44
HBP - Swisher (by Mike Maroth)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Maroth 84-56, Franklyn German 45-26, Vic Darensbourg 18-10, Chris Spurling 10-8, Craig Dingman 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Maroth 3-7, Franklyn German 4-1, Vic Darensbourg 1-1, Chris Spurling 2-1
Batters Faced - Mike Maroth 22, Franklyn German 10, Vic Darensbourg 5, Chris Spurling 3, Craig Dingman 5
Game Information
Attendance - 24440
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Rick Reed, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Chris Guccione