Playing their first game at home in more than a week, the Oakland Athletics had the momentum they had built during their nine game road trip snapped during a 3-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night. Left hander Phil Coke and two Tigers relievers combined for the three-hit shutout of Oakland, the first game in a bakers dozen that the A’s failed to put a run on the board.
Oakland’s starter, Gio Gonzalez was solid as well, allowing just 2 hits and no earned runs in six innings of work. Gonzalez did however walk six, which explains his high pitch count (103) through just six frames. Tyson Ross could not keep the Tigers’ bats contained in the seventh in relief of Gonzalez, as Ryan Rayburn broke the scoreless tie with a two-out RBI double that proved to be the game winner.
Detroit would tack on another two runs in the eighth, but with the way the A’s were swinging the bats in their first game back at home following a long road trip, Detroit’s lone run in the seventh would have been more than enough. With the win for Detroit and loss for Oakland, both teams carry identical 6-7 records into Friday night’s game, the second of the four-game set. With the win, Tigers manager Jim Leyland is now just one shy of 1,500 for his storied career.
The A’s will try to get back in the win column Friday night when they square off against Rick Porcello, who’s 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA on the young season. Hopefully his struggles continue and the A’s can quickly put Thursday night’s offensive struggles behind them. Brandon McCarthy will make his third start of the year for Oakland.