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Detroit at Oakland

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Detroit (61-46)010001000270
Oakland (51-57) «00200100x390

Oakland accelerates Detroit's downward spiral

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Alan Embree knows he'll be turning the closer's job back to Huston Street at some point. For now, he's just having fun.

Embree pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth Wednesday to preserve the Oakland Athletics' 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

"It just ups the ante a little bit," Embree said. "Their offense is tough on left-handers, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. I had a game plan, and I stuck to it."

Mark Ellis hit a go-ahead homer in the sixth inning, helping to send the defending AL champions to their fourth straight series loss.

"They're a fun team to play against," Ellis said. "To take two from them ... we know we have some talent on this team. We're probably underachieving a little bit."

The AL Central-leading Tigers, who began the day one game ahead of second-place Cleveland, dropped two straight to the A's after winning the series opener. The Tigers have lost six of seven games overall and eight of 10.

"We haven't done well lately. A lot of guys aren't hitting," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "When we've had some narrow leads, we've let those get away. Those are all combinations of things that add up to losing the game. You go through stretches, ups and downs, and you just have to grind them out."

Mike Piazza had two hits and drove in a run for the A's, who won their second straight following a four-game losing streak. Piazza is batting .354 (17-for-48) with 12 RBI since coming off the disabled list on July 20. He has six multihit games since then.

Andrew Brown (1-0) allowed two hits in 1 1/3 innings for his first major league win, and Embree got the five outs for his 12th save in 14 chances.

Brown allowed the single to Magglio Ordonez that drove in the game-tying run. Ellis' home run made him the winner.

"What the guys in the bullpen are doing is unbelievable," said Brown, who got the original scorecard as a souvenir. "It was fun to watch Alan pitch. We took two out of three from one of the best teams in baseball. It's awesome."

Oakland starter Dallas Braden, winless in 10 games since beating Baltimore on April 24, allowed two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"I'm facing guys I grew up watching," Braden said. "Those guys are pretty potent. To come in and hold them to a low-run total; I'm happy."

Craig Monroe and Ordonez each drove in runs. Placido Polanco had two hits and is batting .488 (39-for-80) against Oakland, tops among active players.

Nate Robertson (6-9) gave up three runs and nine hits in six-plus innings. He lost his third straight start and is 2-6 in his last 10 starts.

Since shutting out Minnesota over seven innings on July 17, Robertson has allowed 15 runs and 30 hits in 17 2/3 innings for a 7.64 ERA. He's winless with a 7.11 ERA in three career starts in Oakland.

"We need to get on a roll here," Robertson said. "We need to turn this around. It seems like one little thing leads to bigger things every game for us."

Monroe's RBI single put the Tigers ahead in the second, put Oakland took a 2-1 lead in the third on consecutive doubles by Travis Buck and Shannon Stewart followed by Piazza's single. Ordonez's single made it 2-2 in the sixth.

Robertson retired nine straight batters before Ellis' 13th homer of the season, which matched a career high.

Oakland left the bases loaded in the seventh when Piazza and Ellis grounded into outs. After Detroit loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, Embree came in and retired Curtis Granderson on a short flyout to left, then struck out Monroe.

Notes

  • Tigers SS Carlos Guillen , who was out of the starting lineup with a sore left knee, pinch hit in the ninth.
  • A's RHP Esteban Loiaza pitched a rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday.
  • Polanco's double extended the Tigers' streak of at least one extra base hit to 68 games.
  • The A's finished with a 9-18 record in July, the second worst in the AL.
  • Ellis has gone 67 games without making an error, three short of the Oakland mark set by Rafael Bournigal.
  • The Tigers are 6-13 in games started by Robertson.
  • Embree tied the Oakland record (with Rick Honeycutt in 1989) for saves by a left-hander.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Second baseman Mark Ellis snaps a 2-2 tie with his solo homer in the bottom of the sixth.  (AP)
Second baseman Mark Ellis snaps a 2-2 tie with his solo homer in the bottom of the sixth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

M. Ordonez
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
Oakland

M. Ellis
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Detroit Tigers
Ryan Raburn, CF3010000 .382
   a- Sean Casey, PH-1B1000002 .291
   b- Carlos Guillen, PH1000010 .312
Placido Polanco, 2B3120100 .343
Gary Sheffield, DH3000112 .290
Magglio Ordonez, RF2111203 .348
Ivan Rodriguez, C4010031 .283
Mike Hessman, 1B2000000 .222
   c- Curtis Granderson, PH-CF2000013 .300
Craig Monroe, LF4011013 .222
Omar Infante, SS4010000 .254
Brandon Inge, 3B3000110 .246
Totals3227258  
a-grounded out for Raburn in the 7th
b-struck out for Casey in the 9th
c-struck out for Hessman in the 7th
Batting
2B - Placido Polanco (26, Braden)
RBI - Magglio Ordonez (89), Craig Monroe (53)
2-OUT RBI - Craig Monroe (28)
Team LOB - 8
Detroit Tigers
Nate Robertson (L,6-9) 6933121 5.05
Chad Durbin 1.1000110 4.36
Bobby Seay 0.1000210 3.14
Jason Grilli 0.1000000 5.37
IBB - Swisher by Chad Durbin
HBP - Murphy (by Bobby Seay)
Pitches-Strikes - Nate Robertson 96-65, Chad Durbin 22-9, Bobby Seay 20-8, Jason Grilli 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nate Robertson 6-10, Chad Durbin 3-0
Batters Faced - Nate Robertson 28, Chad Durbin 5, Bobby Seay 4, Jason Grilli 1
Oakland Athletics
Travis Buck, RF4120100 .283
Shannon Stewart, LF5111015 .303
Nick Swisher, CF3010110 .256
Mike Piazza, DH4021003 .305
Mark Ellis, 2B4121005 .261
Marco Scutaro, 3B3000113 .237
Dan Johnson, 1B3000103 .237
Donnie Murphy, SS3000003 .156
Rob Bowen, C4010012 .213
Totals3339344  
Batting
2B - Travis Buck 2 (17, Robertson, Robertson), Shannon Stewart (13, Robertson)
HR - Mark Ellis (13, Robertson)
RBI - Shannon Stewart (33), Mike Piazza (20), Mark Ellis (47)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Travis Buck 1
Oakland Athletics
Dallas Braden 5.1422230 5.28
Andrew Brown (BS,1; W,1-0) 1.1200120 3.09
Santiago Casilla (H,7) 0.2100210 2.08
Alan Embree (S,12) 1.2000020 3.45
WP - Dallas Braden (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Dallas Braden 92-55, Andrew Brown 24-15, Santiago Casilla 16-8, Alan Embree 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dallas Braden 3-9, Andrew Brown 1-0, Santiago Casilla 1-0, Alan Embree 1-2
Batters Faced - Dallas Braden 21, Andrew Brown 6, Santiago Casilla 5, Alan Embree 5
Game Information
Attendance - 27118
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Mike Everitt