|Oakland (85-64) «||0||0||1||0||1||4||0||0||6||12||12||0|
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.
|More on Athletics-Tigers|
That the A's cling to one of the two AL wild-card spots should be the stuff of pure fiction
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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.
"It kind of knuckled. I was right there. It just took a left turn on me," Jackson said.
Kottaras felt fortunate.
"I knew I hit it good. I saw him coming in. I thought, 'Oh no, he's going to catch it,'" Kottaras said. "Then when I saw it go over his glove. I was like `Great!' But then I thought, `I've got to keep running."'
Yoenis Cespedes hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to start Oakland's scoring in the ninth.
"We missed a couple opportunities," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Delmon hit a ball right on the button in the first inning, double-play ball, he hit it right on the nose. We had a couple other opportunities. We had some chances."
Detroit broke through in the second to take a 2-0 lead on Gerald Laird's RBI single and Jackson's sacrifice fly.
Second baseman Omar Infante's throwing error on an attempted double play gave the A's a run in the third. It was his 10th error in 51 games since being acquired from Miami, along with Sanchez, on July 24.
|Seth Smith homers, doubles and drives in four runs to help the A's avoid getting swept in Detroit. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Stephen Drew, SS||5||0||0||0||0||2||1||.202|
|Josh Reddick, CF||4||1||0||0||1||0||1||.250|
|Yoenis Cespedes, DH||4||1||1||1||0||1||0||.293|
|Brandon Moss, RF||4||2||1||1||1||3||0||.262|
|Chris Carter, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||3||1||.246|
|Daric Barton, 1B||0||1||0||1||1||0||0||.200|
|Seth Smith, LF||4||3||3||4||1||0||0||.249|
|Josh Donaldson, 3B||5||2||3||2||0||1||1||.244|
|George Kottaras, C||5||1||2||2||0||1||1||.216|
|Cliff Pennington, 2B||3||1||2||0||1||1||1||.215|
|2B - Brandon Moss (11, Sanchez), Seth Smith (22, Smyly), Josh Donaldson (15, Putkonen)|
|3B - George Kottaras (1, Coke)|
|HR - Seth Smith (14, Sanchez)|
|SF - Yoenis Cespedes (3)|
|RBI - Yoenis Cespedes (73), Brandon Moss (40), Daric Barton (5), Seth Smith 4 (50), Josh Donaldson 2 (26), George Kottaras 2 (30)|
|2-OUT RBI - Daric Barton (4), Seth Smith 3 (13), Josh Donaldson 2 (12), George Kottaras 2 (12)|
|SB - Josh Donaldson (4, 2nd base off Sanchez/Laird)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Drew-Pennington-Carter|
|Pat Neshek (W,2-1)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.55|
|Jerry Blevins (H,13)||0.1||1||1||1||0||0||1||2.61|
|Ryan Cook (H,17)||1.2||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.38|
|Sean Doolittle (H,13)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||3.26|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Milone 94-54, Pat Neshek 2-1, Jerry Blevins 13-8, Ryan Cook 21-16, Sean Doolittle 14-10, Evan Scribner 16-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Milone 3-8, Ryan Cook 1-2, Evan Scribner 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Tommy Milone 24, Pat Neshek 1, Jerry Blevins 2, Ryan Cook 5, Sean Doolittle 3, Evan Scribner 4|
|Austin Jackson, CF||4||0||0||1||0||1||1||.302|
|Omar Infante, 2B||4||0||2||0||1||0||0||.275|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B||4||1||1||0||1||1||3||.333|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||3||0||1||1||1||0||0||.304|
|Delmon Young, DH||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.270|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.248|
|Avisail Garcia, RF||4||1||2||0||0||1||2||.345|
|Andy Dirks, LF||3||1||2||1||0||1||0||.315|
|Gerald Laird, C||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.285|
|2B - Omar Infante 2 (29, Milone, Scribner), Prince Fielder (31, Milone)|
|HR - Andy Dirks (7, Blevins)|
|SF - Austin Jackson (3)|
|SH - Andy Dirks (3)|
|RBI - Austin Jackson (62), Prince Fielder (101), Andy Dirks (31), Gerald Laird (8)|
|CS - Avisail Garcia (1, 2nd base by Milone/Kottaras)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Omar Infante (18, Throwing)|
|Anibal Sanchez (L,8-13)||5.2||6||6||5||2||8||1||4.14|
|IBB - Smith by Anibal Sanchez, Reddick by Octavio Dotel, by Moss|
|Pitches-Strikes - Anibal Sanchez 106-70, Phil Coke 3-1, Al Alburquerque 37-23, Octavio Dotel 20-7, Drew Smyly 11-4, Luke Putkonen 4-3|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anibal Sanchez 6-3, Al Alburquerque 2-1, Octavio Dotel 1-1, Luke Putkonen 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Anibal Sanchez 25, Phil Coke 1, Al Alburquerque 8, Octavio Dotel 6, Drew Smyly 2, Luke Putkonen 2|
|Attendance - 34635|
|Game Time - 3:14|
|Temperature - 54|
|Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Scott Barry|