Oakland at Detroit

W: J. Benoit (4-0) L: G. Balfour (0-3)
HR: OAK - J. Lowrie (10),B. Moss (25)   DET - P. Fielder (21),T. Hunter (16)

Hunter stuns A's with walk-off HR; Tigers avoid sweep

CBSSports.com wire reports

DETROIT -- Max Scherzer was roughed up, and Miguel Cabrera left with an injury. It made for a quiet scene in the ninth inning at a mostly empty Comerica Park.

Then Torii Hunter turned it around with one big swing for the Detroit Tigers.

Hunter hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth, lifting Detroit to a 7-6 win over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday that averted a four-game series sweep.

The celebration continued after the Tigers' biggest comeback victory, with Cabrera vowing he would be in the lineup Friday when the AL Central leaders begin a three-game series with the second-place Cleveland Indians.

Cabrera departed in the fifth inning after hurting his abdomen while making an awkward slide trying to stretch a single into a double. But he insisted he would be able to play in Detroit's next game.

"I'm OK," he said. "I'll play [Friday] -- don't worry."

The reigning Triple Crown winner limped off the field after aggravating a strain in his groin, abdominal and hip area that has bothered him for much of the month. He got two hits before the injury, increasing his major league-leading batting average to .359. He leads baseball with 130 RBI, and his 43 homers trail only Baltimore's Chris Davis.

"Every time something like that happens, we all get scared," Tigers catcher Brayan Pena said. "But then when we see him smiling and stuff like that after the game, everybody starts breathing again."

The Tigers scored four times in the ninth against Grant Balfour (0-3). A two-out walk set up Victor Martinez's RBI single, then Hunter connected for his 16th homer.

Scherzer gave up six runs in five innings, ending up with a no-decision instead of a loss.

"He still can go 20-1," Hunter said. "He was jumping up and down when I came upstairs. He hugged me so tight I couldn't breathe. I'm pretty sure he's excited."

Scherzer's bid to become the first pitcher in the major leagues with 20 wins this season didn't look good at the start.

"I probably should've taken a loss," he said. "Torii bailed me out."

The bullpen did, too.

Luke Putkonen pitched two innings of scoreless relief, Jose Veras was perfect in the eighth and Joaquin Benoit (4-0) gave up two hits in the ninth for the win.

Coco Crisp led off the game with a double and Jed Lowrie hit a one-out, two-run homer on a thigh-high, 92-mph fastball. Scherzer held the A's to only one hit over the next two innings, but they built a four-run cushion in the fourth on sacrifice flies by Daric Barton and Eric Sogard.

Josh Donaldson hit a leadoff triple in the fifth and Brandon Moss homered deep into the right-field seats to make it 6-1.

A's starter Bartolo Colon was in position to win his 15th game. He allowed only one run and five hits without a walk over five innings in his first start since Aug. 13, when a groin injury landed him on the disabled list.

Prince Fielder hit a solo homer in the sixth off Jerry Blevins, who gave up another run and retired only one batter as the Tigers pulled within three.

Oakland's Dan Otero and Sean Doolittle each followed with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, setting Balfour up to pitch for his 34th save in 35 chances.

Balfour gave up a leadoff walk to Austin Jackson and walked Fielder with two outs. He then got ahead 0-2 against Martinez, but couldn't get a third strike against him and that proved to be costly. The All-Star closer gave up two hits and walked two.

"It's nice to win three games here when you're looking at it coming in," A's manager Bob Melvin said, "but certainly when you're in position to win the fourth one, you want to win four."


  • Tigers manager Jim Leyland said the team has decided which players will be added to the roster when it expands to 40 players on Sept. 1, but declined to make any announcements. Leyland said the callups will happen in multiple groups, starting on Sept. 1 and continuing as minor-league seasons come to an end.
  • Moss' four homers in the series were more than he hit in three of his first five major-league seasons. Moss didn't reach double figures until last year, his sixth, when he hit 21 for Oakland.
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Justin Verlander and Brayan Pena lead the celebration as Torii Hunter crosses the plate after his walk-off home run.  (USATSI)
Justin Verlander and Brayan Pena lead the celebration as Torii Hunter crosses the plate after his walk-off home run. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

J. Lowrie
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1

P. Fielder
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 1

Related Video

Oakland Athletics
Coco Crisp, CF5110014 .254
Josh Donaldson, 3B5110022 .294
Jed Lowrie, DH5132001 .294
Brandon Moss, RF4112123 .252
Alberto Callaspo, 2B4110022 .262
Seth Smith, LF4110011 .240
Daric Barton, 1B3011000 .200
Eric Sogard, SS2011000 .267
Stephen Vogt, C4020012 .241
2B - Coco Crisp (18, Scherzer), Alberto Callaspo (19, Scherzer), Eric Sogard (24, Scherzer)
3B - Josh Donaldson (3, Scherzer)
HR - Jed Lowrie (10, Scherzer), Brandon Moss (25, Scherzer)
SF - Daric Barton (1), Eric Sogard (4)
SH - Eric Sogard (5)
RBI - Jed Lowrie 2 (57), Brandon Moss 2 (68), Daric Barton (6), Eric Sogard (30)
SB - Brandon Moss (4, 2nd base off Scherzer/B. Pena)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Coco Crisp 1
Oakland Athletics
Bartolo Colon 5711010 2.94
Jerry Blevins 0.1322001 3.61
Dan Otero (H,3) 1.1300010 1.20
Sean Doolittle (H,20) 1.1000000 3.70
Grant Balfour (L,0-3; BS,2) 0.2244211 2.44
Pitches-Strikes - Bartolo Colon 73-50, Jerry Blevins 9-7, Dan Otero 25-16, Sean Doolittle 12-7, Grant Balfour 27-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bartolo Colon 5-8, Jerry Blevins 1-0, Dan Otero 3-0, Sean Doolittle 2-2
Batters Faced - Bartolo Colon 21, Jerry Blevins 4, Dan Otero 7, Sean Doolittle 4, Grant Balfour 6
Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF4110102 .268
Andy Dirks, LF-RF-LF5000002 .249
Miguel Cabrera, 3B3020011 .359
   Matt Tuiasosopo, LF-3B1000010 .280
   a-Alex Avila, PH1000011 .200
Prince Fielder, 1B4331101 .268
Victor Martinez, DH5031000 .297
   Jose Iglesias, PR-DH0100000 .313
Don Kelly, RF-3B3110001 .240
   b-Torii Hunter, PH-RF2113002 .308
Brayan Pena, C3021000 .309
Omar Infante, 2B4010002 .317
Ramon Santiago, SS4011002 .220
a-struck out for Tuiasosopo in the 9th
b-grounded out for Kelly in the 7th
HR - Prince Fielder (21, Blevins), Torii Hunter (16, Balfour)
SF - Brayan Pena (4)
RBI - Prince Fielder (91), Victor Martinez (71), Torii Hunter 3 (70), Brayan Pena (22), Ramon Santiago (11)
2-OUT RBI - Victor Martinez (27), Torii Hunter 3 (22), Ramon Santiago (4)
Team LOB - 9
E - Don Kelly (1, Throwing)
Detroit Tigers
Max Scherzer 5865152 2.90
Luke Putkonen 2200040 2.78
Jose Veras 1000000 2.72
Joaquin Benoit (W,4-0) 1200000 1.51
Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 101-68, Luke Putkonen 29-21, Jose Veras 12-6, Joaquin Benoit 15-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 1-9, Luke Putkonen 1-1, Joaquin Benoit 1-2
Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 24, Luke Putkonen 8, Jose Veras 3, Joaquin Benoit 5
Game Information
Attendance - 39212
Game Time - 3:09
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Will Little, Third Base - Gary Darling