By Kahlil Najar
OAKLAND – Sonny Gray gave up a season high four runs on eight hits and Luke Gregerson gave up the game winning run in the top of the 8th and the A’s (31-21) lost to the Tigers (29-19) 6-5. John Jaso hit his fifth homer of the year in the fourth and Jed Lowrie and Albert Callaspo contributed with a double each in the second to provide the majority of the A’s offense tonight. The A’s have now lost five of their last six games.
“I felt really good. That’s why it’s a little bit frustrating,” said Sonny Gray on his performance tonight. “You felt like you have good stuff, and then you just get hit around a little bit.”
Jaso echoed the frustrations of his pitcher, “It just seemed like his two-seamer wasn’t moving like it normally does and that’s where he ran into trouble.”
The first inning proved rough for Gray as he gave up a single, two doubles and a walk to the Tigers who took advantage and took a 2-0 lead on a single by Miguel Cabrera and a double by J.D. Martinez. The A’s got a pair of runs in the bottom of the second off of a double from Jaso and a double from Callaspo to tie the game at two. In the top of the third Cabreba hit his 8th homer of the year deep to left field and in the fourth Avila hit a double to drive in Jackson to give the Tigers a two run lead again and brought the score to 4-2.
In the bottom of the fourth, Josh Reddick scored on a balk from Scherzer and Jaso hit a two-run homer to give the A’s their first lead of the game 5-4.
Torri Hunter ruined the party in the top of the 7th as he hit a deep shot to center field that Coco Crisp wasn’t able to corral and tied the game at 5.
Detroit took the lead for good in the top of the eighth when after a walk to J.D. Martinez, former Athletic Rajai Davis came in to pinch run. Davis advanced to second after a passed ball from Abad and then later on in the same at bat, Abad wasn’t paying attention to Davis and Davis stole third that surprised everybody.After Castellanos walked, Austin Jackson hit a ground ball to Lowrie who got the ball to second for one out but Jackson beat out the throw at first and was able to bring Davis home to secure the 6-5 Detroit win.
Tigers closer Joe Nathan said, “I think he caught the whole stadium by surprise. I know I missed it.”
A’s coach Bob Melvin said “That was the difference. He timed it perfectly. As soon as Norris let go of the ball he took off. I haven’t seen the replay yet if he had a chance to get it and throw him out, but that’s a big chance he took and it paid off.”
The A’s send Scott Kazmir (5-2) to the mound on Wednesday night with his 3.99 ERA in 13 career starts against Detroit against the Tigers Anibal Sanchez (2-2).