By George Devine, Sr.
Last year, when Detroit played in a postseason game, it was their fourth straight loss to a Bay Area team, in this case San Francisco in the 2012 World Series. This year, the Tigers came to Oakland determined to show their stuff, and now they are 1-0 in the ALDS.
Before a national TV audience, and a sellout crowd of 48,401 in a balmy O.co Coliseum, the defending American League champions took charge in the first inning. Austin Jackson led off with a double to right and advanced to third as Torii Hunter walked. Miguel Cabrera hit a grounder to center field and brought Jackson home, but then Prince Fielder hit into a 6-4-3 double play which scored Hunter. Victor Martinez hit one of Bartolo Colon’s pitches just above shortstop Jed Lowrie, grazing the tip of his glove, and reached second, then came home when Alex Avila singled to right.
The only other scoring of the evening was a two-run homer to left by Yoenis Cespedes with Brandon Moss on base. Cespedes had tripled to left in the second off Max Scherzer and is one of only two Oakland Athletics to hit both a triple and a homer in a postseason game, the other being Rickey Henderson in Game 4 of the 1989 World Series at San Francisco. Coco Crisp obviously was someone Detroit did not want to pitch to; he walked three times and sruck out once.
Colon is the loser (6 ip, 10 h, 3 er, 4 k) and Scherzer the winner (7 ip, 3 h, 2 er, 2 w, 11 k, 1 hr). Joaquin Benoit picked up the save,
The two teams meet again at 6:07 p.m. on Saturday, October 5, with Sonny Gray facing fellow RHP Justin Verlander.