May 26: Tigers (29-19) 0, Athletics (31-20) 10
A dominant start by Tommy Milone and a big game from Josh Donaldson helped power the Oakland Athletics to an easy 10-0 rout of the visiting Detroit Tigers. Derek Norris added four RBIs on one swing with his eighth-inning grand slam.
After a couple of zeros in the opening half innings for both teams, the A’s pushed through in a big way with three two-run frames from the second to the fourth. Oakland jumped on starter Drew Smyly for all six runs on four home runs.
Brandon Moss started the home run parade with his 12th big fly of the year to lead off the second. He fouled away a bunt on the first pitch from Smyly before belting an 0-1 cutter to deep center field. Two batters later, Kyle Blanks contributed his first home run of the season to give the A’s a 2-0 cushion in the early going.
With Milone keeping the Tigers bats at bay, the A’s continued to put up big flies with back-to-back shots from Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes in the third. Donalson turned on a 1-0 changeup before Cespedes finished off an impressive eight-pitch at-bat with a long ball to left.
Already up 4-0, the A’s now used small ball and timely hitting extend their lead to six in the fourth. Coco Crisp delivered a sacrifice fly to left before Donaldson padded his box score with a two-out RBI single to center.
With a big lead in hand, Milone allowed a few scattered singles but nothing ever came of them as Detroit could never capitalize on any of its opportunities.
In the eighth, now facing reliever Phil Coke, Oakland made the Tigers pay for a few costly mistakes. Blanks reached base via a lead-off walk, Craig Gentry moved him over to second when he got to first due to a catcher’s interference call and Crisp loaded the bases on a fielding error by third baseman Nick Castellanos. Norris then delivered the big blow with a grand slam to left-center on a 2-1 fastball.
Relief man Sean Doolittle came in in the ninth to close things out for the A’s with a seven-pitch, 1-2-3 final frame.
Milone even his record at 3-3 on the year with his 6.2 scoreless innings. He allowed just four hits and struck out six in the win.
Getting the loss was Smyly, giving up six runs, two walks and eight hits in his five frames.