Detroit at Oakland

W: A. Galarraga (5-7) L: G. Gonzalez (0-2)
HR: DET - P. Polanco (5)   OAK - M. Ellis (2)

Tigers 5, Athletics 3 wire reports

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Armando Galarraga yielded three times more walks than hits, and his Detroit teammates made a big baserunning blunder, gave up a ninth-inning home run and committed two fielding errors.

Manager Jim Leyland knew it all could have cost the AL Central-leading Tigers -- against a better opponent than the Oakland Athletics, that is.

Galarraga pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning, and Placido Polanco had a home run and three RBI in the Tigers' 5-3 victory against the A's on Tuesday night.

Ryan Raburn went 3 for 3 with a run-scoring single for the Tigers, who have won nine of 12. After handing the slumping A's their sixth loss in seven games, Detroit is comfortably atop the division despite an inconsistent effort that left players scrambling for optimism in both clubhouses.

"We're living on the edge a little bit," Leyland said. "When you run into teams that are really hot, you're probably going to lose these games."

Leyland was particularly worried about Galarraga (5-7), who has won back-to-back starts after losing a career-worst seven consecutive decisions since late April. The right-hander issued six walks, yet otherwise had little trouble against the light-hitting A's in 6 1/3 innings.

"It's something that's negative, but I look at the positive, because my ball was moving really good," Galarraga said of his control problems. "My sinker, my slider, both were good. That's not an excuse for throwing a lot of walks, though."

Closer Fernando Rodney walked another batter in the ninth and also gave up a two-run homer to Mark Ellis before getting a game-ending double-play grounder from Orlando Cabrera.

"Walking that many people is not part of the major league game," Leyland said. "You just can't do it. That's not being upset with anybody. That's just telling it like it is."

Polanco hit a two-run homer in the first and an RBI single in the ninth, improving his career average against Oakland to .389 -- tops among all major leaguers against the A's. He also was the MVP of the 2006 AL Championship Series, when he hit .529 in the Tigers' sweep of Oakland.

"One of those teams, man," Polanco said. "I've never been part of an ugly win. Every time you win, it's a beautiful win."

Oakland, mired in last in the AL West, got its only hits off Galarraga in the fourth when Ryan Sweeney tripled and scored on Jack Cust's single. In the ninth, Ellis homered to left for the second successive night after returning to Oakland's lineup on Sunday following a two-month injury absence.

Gio Gonzalez (0-2) made an unconvincing case for a permanent spot in Oakland's rotation by allowing three runs and seven hits in five innings. The 23-year-old left-hander, who has been called up three times from Triple-A Sacramento this season, has lost back-to-back starts in his latest stint in the big leagues.

"I gave them five good, strong innings," Gonzalez said. "It's a stepping stone, and I'll keep learning from all this. I could have let the home run crumble me, but [pitching coach] Curt Young and [catcher] Kurt Suzuki kept talking to me, and that helped."

After Curtis Granderson led off the game with a four-pitch walk, Polanco hit Gonzalez's seventh pitch into the left-field stands for the veteran second baseman's fourth home run in 10 games.

Marcus Thames and Ryan Raburn then had back-to-back, one-out hits, but Thames ran through a stop sign from third-base coach Gene Lamont and got stuck in a rundown, leading to Raburn getting tagged out while standing on third.

Miguel Cabrera doubled and scored on Raburn's single in the third. Raburn left the game in the seventh when "his eyes dried out," Leyland said.

Jason Giambi's batting average dipped all the way down to an AL-low .197 when he went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts. The former MVP is in a 12 for 79 slump, going 2 for 21 on the A's current homestand, but he's still batting cleanup for one of the majors' least productive offenses.


A's LHP Josh Outman underwent season-ending elbow surgery. He'll be out for at least a year. Outman was a bright spot in Oakland's youthful rotation, going 4-1 in 14 appearances. ... Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a seventh-inning infield single. ... The Tigers committed two errors after making only one error in their previous nine games.

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.
Players of the Game

P. Polanco
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1

M. Ellis
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF3110112 .259
Placido Polanco, 2B5123013 .259
Miguel Cabrera, 1B5120013 .332
Marcus Thames, DH5010024 .256
Ryan Raburn, LF3131000 .263
    Josh Anderson, LF1000001 .255
Brandon Inge, 3B4011012 .275
Magglio Ordonez, RF4010003 .264
Dusty Ryan, C3000131 .167
Adam Everett, SS3110010 .269
2B - Miguel Cabrera (15, G. Gonzalez), Ryan Raburn 2 (6, G. Gonzalez, Casilla), Adam Everett (10, E. Gonzalez)
HR - Placido Polanco (5, G. Gonzalez)
SH - Adam Everett (9)
RBI - Placido Polanco 3 (33), Ryan Raburn (19), Brandon Inge (52)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Inge-Polanco-Cabrera, Everett-Polanco-Cabrera
E - Adam Everett (7, Misplayed grounder), Ryan Raburn (2, Dropped fly)
Detroit Tigers
Armando Galarraga (W,5-7) 6.1211650 5.34
Bobby Seay (H,17) 0.1000000 3.33
Joel Zumaya (H,6) 1.1100000 4.10
Fernando Rodney 1222101 4.36
Pitches-Strikes - Armando Galarraga 97-53, Bobby Seay 6-4, Joel Zumaya 23-18, Fernando Rodney 19-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Armando Galarraga 9-5, Joel Zumaya 1-3, Fernando Rodney 1-1
Batters Faced - Armando Galarraga 27, Bobby Seay 1, Joel Zumaya 5, Fernando Rodney 5
Oakland Athletics
Adam Kennedy, 3B3010201 .292
Orlando Cabrera, SS5010013 .247
Matt Holliday, LF4000003 .273
Jason Giambi, 1B3000121 .197
Kurt Suzuki, C4000001 .279
Ryan Sweeney, CF4110010 .270
Nomar Garciaparra, DH2100200 .242
Jack Cust, RF2011201 .224
Mark Ellis, 2B4112014 .216
3B - Ryan Sweeney (1, Galarraga)
HR - Mark Ellis (2, Rodney)
RBI - Jack Cust (39), Mark Ellis 2 (13)
2-OUT RBI - Jack Cust (15)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Ryan Sweeney 1
DP - Cabrera-Ellis-Giambi, G. Gonzalez-Ellis-Giambi
E - Orlando Cabrera (12, Misplayed grounder)
Oakland Athletics
Gio Gonzalez (L,0-2) 5733251 7.27
Santiago Casilla 2211020 5.65
Russ Springer 1100010 5.02
Edgar Gonzalez 1211020 5.74
HBP - Granderson (by Edgar Gonzalez)
WP - Santiago Casilla (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Gio Gonzalez 84-44, Santiago Casilla 37-25, Russ Springer 16-10, Edgar Gonzalez 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gio Gonzalez 4-3, Santiago Casilla 4-0, Russ Springer 1-2
Batters Faced - Gio Gonzalez 21, Santiago Casilla 8, Russ Springer 5, Edgar Gonzalez 6
Game Information
Attendance - 12126
Game Time - 2:50
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Randy Marsh, Third Base - Marvin Hudson