Jun 2, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Ben Zobrist (18) hits a grand slam home run off Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Angel Nesbitt (60) in the seventh inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers extended their season-worst losing streak to five games as they dropped the series opener to the Oakland A’s by a score of 5-3. One inning full of minor miscues cost the Tigers tonight in a game they had firmly in hand.
Both offenses were quiet through the first three innings, but both loaded the bases in the fourth. The A’s loaded the bases after Alfredo Simon walked Josh Reddick, Brett Lawrie, and Max Muncy with two outs, but was bailed out by J.D. Martinez as he made a nice running catch on a ball up the right-center gap from Marcus Semien.
In the bottom half of the fourth, Miguel Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes hit singles before Tyler Collins loaded the bases with a walk. The Tigers were then gifted a run on a wild pitch from Kendall Graveman which scored Cabrera. Nick Castellanos then delivered the two out hit the Tigers have been looking for the last week with a single to right field to give the Tigers the 3-0 lead.
That was the only damage the Tigers did as Graveman threw mostly fastballs away, but was effective. He ended the game with the 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K quality start and got the win.
The top of the seventh inning was the only inning the A’s did damage, but they were aided by multiple Tigers’ mistakes. Lawrie led off the inning with a single to left field. He then moved up on a wild pitch to second on a play he could have easily been thrown out. A sinking throw to second that Kinsler could not pick. Marcus Semien then hit an infield single to deep short. Jose Iglesias almost made another incredible play with a pick, but threw an in-between hop to Nick Castellanos at third that he could not handle, allowing Lawrie to slide in safely. Eric Sogard then hit a hard ground ball to Kinsler at second while Semien was running from first. Instead of going to second or first, Kinsler threw home, even though Lawrie stayed at third which loaded the bases. The inning could have been over if the Tigers retired Lawrie at second or third and then Sogard at first.
The A’s made the Tigers pay for extending the inning. Billy Burns ended Simon’s night with a single to center field scoring Lawrie from third to cut the lead to 3-1. Angel Nesbitt then entered the game and promptly gave up a line drive grand slam into the front row of the right field stands to give the A’s the 5-3 lead.
Simon finished the night with an odd line, but the numbers do not tell the entire tale. He ended the night with 6.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 6 K. All of his runs were earned, even though he had the stuff to end the 7th inning, but was left out to dry by his defense.
It should also be noted that the offense only scored in one inning. They were 1-7 with runners in scoring position and left 7 batters on base. The Tigers are currently a disaster from top to bottom and the blame cannot be put only on one player or manager.