2013 American League Division Series 2
From BR Bullpen
|2013 American League Division Series|
93 - 69 in the AL
|3 - 2
96 - 66 in the AL
 The Teams
 Series results
|1||Detroit Tigers 3 Oakland Athletics 2||October 4||Max Scherzer (1-0) Bartolo Colon (0-1)||9:37 pm|
|2||Detroit Tigers 0 Oakland Athletics 1||October 5||Justin Verlander (0-0) Sonny Gray (0-0)||9:07 pm|
|3||Oakland Athletics 6 Detroit Tigers 3||October 7||Jarrod Parker (1-0) Anibal Sanchez (0-1)||1:07 pm|
|4||Oakland Athletics 6 Detroit Tigers 8||October 8||Dan Straily (0-0) Doug Fister (0-0)||5:07 pm|
|5||Detroit Tigers 3 Oakland Athletics 0||October 10||Justin Verlander (1-0) Sonny Gray (0-1)||8:07 pm|
 Game 1 @ Overstock.com Coliseum
|WP: Max Scherzer (1-0), LP: Bartolo Colon (0-1), SV: Joaquin Benoit (1)|
|Home Runs: OAK - Yoenis Cespedes (1)|
- Attendance: 48,401
Game 1 of the series was really Max Scherzer's show. The only 20-game winner in the majors in 2013 was dominant, giving up only 3 hits in 7 innings, and the Tigers managed to score enough runs to turn his performance into a win. Those runs all came in the 1st inning against veteran Bartolo Colon. Austin Jackson led off the game with a double and Torii Hunter was hit by a pitch. Miguel Cabrera followed with a single, scoring Jackson with Hunter taking third. Prince Fielder then grounded into a double play, scoring Hunter but emptying the bases. However, Victor Martinez immediately followed with another double and when Alex Avila singled, it was 3-0 for Detroit. That was all the runs Scherzer needed. He kept the Athletics from scoring in their first six turns at bat before showing his only sign of weakness in the 7th. Brandon Moss singled and Yoenis Cespedes immediately followed with a two-run homer, but Scherzer bore down and retired the next three men he faced, finishing his day by striking out Daric Barton for his 11th K of the game.
With the Tigers unable to add to their 3-2 lead, it was up to two relievers to get the last 6 outs. Drew Smyly struck out a couple of batters around walking Coco Crisp in the 8th, then Joaquin Benoit was summoned from the bullpen. He got Josh Donaldson to pop out to end the inning, and was perfect in the 9th, striking out Moss, Cespedes and Josh Reddick in order to save Scherzer's win.
 Game 2 @ Overstock.com Coliseum
|WP: Grant Balfour (1-0), LP: Al Alburquerque (0-1)|
|Home Runs: - none|
- Attendance: 48,292
Game 2 was a classic pitcher's duel, matching an old master in former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander, and a young gun in rookie Sonny Gray for Oakland. Neither pitcher gave up a run that night, Verlander giving up only 4 hits and a walk while striking out 11 in 7 innings, while Gray pitched 8 innings while allowing only 4 hits and 2 walks and picking up 9 K's. Thus, in the middle of the 8th, the game was still scoreless as the bullpens took over.
The A's manufactured the first serious scoring threat of the game in the bottom of the 8th as pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo greeted reliever Drew Smyly with a double. However, Smyly got Coco Crisp on an infield pop-up, before Jed Lowrie drew a walk. Al Alburquerque relieved Smyly but ended the threat by striking out Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss in succession. Grant Balfour took over for Gray in the 9th and got the Tigers out in order. In the bottom of the inning, Yoenis Cespedes and Seth Smith hit back-to-back singles, with Cespedes reaching third. Tigers manager Jim Leyland then elected to walk Josh Reddick intentionally, setting up a force play at home. Rick Porcello, normally the Bengals' fifth starter, was brought in to pitch, but the first man he faced, rookie C Stephen Vogt, lined a single to left and the game was over, the A's celebrating a dramatic victory by dousing everyone with pies in the face.
 Game 3 @ Comerica Park
|WP: Jarrod Parker (1-0), LP: Anibal Sanchez (0-1), SV: Grant Balfour (1)|
|Home Runs: OAK - Josh Reddick (1), Brandon Moss (1), Seth Smith (1)|
- Attendance: 43,973
The Oakland A's used the long ball to defeat the Tigers in Game 3, going deep three times against American League ERA champ Anibal Sanchez at Comerica Park. Sanchez's opponent, Jarrod Parker, was not much sharper, but pitched just well enough in 5 innings to get credit for the win. The Tigers came into the game in a serious offensive drought, having failed to score in their last 17 innings, and having been no-hit by the Miami Marlins' Henderson Alvarez in the last game of the regular season before that. To improve the team's chances with the bat, manager Jim Leyland inserted Jhonny Peralta into the line-up in left field, conscious that it was a defensive gamble as the infielder had played all of three games in his career at the position. The Tigers' streak of being held scoreless ran to 20 innings before they finally put some runs on the scoreboard in the 4th, but by that time they were already down, 3-0. The A's had scored once in the 3rd when Yoennis Cespedes' two-out grounder to third had got past a hobbled Miguel Cabrera, allowing Coco Crisp to score from second base, and twice in the 4th on a solo homer by Josh Reddick, a triple by Stephen Vogt and a sacrifice fly by Crisp. That ball was hit to Peralta in shallow left, but the A's never hesitated to test his unproven arm, and Vogt scored easily as his throw was off the mark.
Parker had kept the Tigers from scoring through the first three innings, but in the 4th, he allowed singles by Torii Hunter and Prince Fielder around a fly out by Cabrera. Victor Martinez doubled for a first run, and Peralta redeemed himself by hitting a sharp single that scored two more to tie the game. Sanchez also had a chance to redeem himself at that point, if he could have shut down the A's for a few innings in order to allow his teammates to build a lead. Alas, after striking out Jed Lowrie to lead off the 5th, he allowed a homer to Brandon Moss followed by a single to Cespedes. Up next was Seth Smith, who was a lefthanded batter and a bit of a cousin of Sanchez, having hit him very well during his career. Leyland had a lefty - rookie Jose Alvarez - ready in the bullpen, but elected to leave Anibal in the game. It was not the right decision, as Smith homered over the left-field wall for a 6-3 lead. It was the first time Sanchez had given up more that one homer in a game all year, and the Tigers were never be able to recover.
Alvarez came in to pitch, but a batter too late. Facing a line-up laden with lefties, he gave up nothing but a harmless walk in three innings of work, before giving way to Jose Veras in the 8th. Meanwhile, Dan Otero succeeded Parker on the mound in the 6th and gave manager Bob Melvin two scoreless innings. Set-up man Sean Doolittle followed him in the 8th, then closer Grant Balfour was dispatched to pitch the 9th. There was a bit of a kerfuffle when after hitting a foul ball, Martinez stared intently at the equally intense Balfour, and the two exchanged profanities caught on live TV and almost came to blows as the benches cleared. Umpire Gary Darling was able to restore order without having to resort to ejections - he did warn both benches to keep their calm, though - and Balfour retired the side, only allowing a two-out walk to Alex Avila as the Tigers' scoring problems continued, with them having failed to score in 25 of the 27 innings played in the Division Series thus far.
 Game 4 @ Comerica Park
|WP: Max Scherzer (2-0), LP: Sean Doolittle (0-1)|
|Home Runs: OAK - Jed Lowrie (1); DET - Jhonny Peralta (1), Victor Martinez (1)|
- Attendance: 43,958
After struggling to score any runs during the first three games of the series, the Tigers' bats came alive just in time in Game 4, after falling into a 3-0 deficit for the second game in a row. However, this time, they scored 8 runs in their last four turns at bat and won the game, 8-6, thanks also to a clutch relief performance by ace starter Max Scherzer. The Athletics had got off to a fast start against starter Doug Fister, with Coco Crisp hitting a triple as the first batter of the game and then scoring one out later on a single by Jed Lowrie. They then put a couple of men on in the 2nd, but could not score, while their starter Dan Straily faced the minimum 12 batters through the first four innings. The A's added a pair of runs in the 5th as Crisp singled with one out, and Lowrie took Fister deep for a 3-0 lead.
At that point, the Tigers' bats seemed about as dead as can be. Not only had they failed to score in 29 of 31 innings played thus far in the series, but Straily was pitching a no-hitter. Prince Fielder ended that with a lead-off single in the bottom of the 5th, and this seemed to wake up the whole team. Victor Martinez followed with another single and Jhonny Peralta hit a homer to left, and suddenly, the score was tied. Fister then pitched a perfect 6th, and as the 7th inning started with the score still tied, Tigers manager Jim Leyland decided to go for broke, sending Scherzer, his best pitcher all season, to the mound. Stephen Vogt greeted him with a single, and Eric Sogard laid down a sacrifice bunt that placed him in scoring position. Crisp followed with a single, and the A's were back on top. However, the Tigers did not fold. Straily was replaced by hard-throwing Sean Doolittle, who was greeted by a homer to right by Martinez, on a ball that required a video review to determine whether there was fan interference. Peralta followed with a double, and then gave way to pinch-runner Andy Dirks. Doolittle struck out Alex Avila and got Omar Infante to line out, but he then walked number 9 hitter Jose Iglesias. Austin Jackson followed with a single, and the Tigers had their first lead of the game, 5-4.
Scherzer almost gave back this lead immediately, as he loaded the bases with none out in the top of the 8th, courtesy of a walk, a double by Yoenis Cespedes and an intentional walk to Seth Smith. With no margin of error, he then struck out Josh Reddick and Vogt, both on swings and misses, and then retired pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo on a liner. The Tigers still had the lead, and immediately padded it after Ryan Cook quickly got two outs in the bottom of the 8th: Martinez singled and Dirks drew a walk, prompting Leyland to send pinch-runner Hernan Perez in place of Martinez. Brett Anderson came in to pitch, and he loaded the bases by walking Avila. Anderson then threw a wild pitch and allowed a double to Infante to clear the bases and bump Detroit's lead to 8-4. It turned out that those three runs were very much needed. Closer Joaquin Benoit came in to pitch the 9th, even though it was no longer a save situation, and Crisp and Lowrie again were at it, the former singling and the latter drawing a one-out walk. Brandon Moss grounded out, advancing both by one base, then Cespedes singled, good for two runs. Seth Smith came to bat representing the tying run, but he struck out swinging to end the game, and the two teams were headed back to Oakland for a decisive fifth game.
 Game 5 @ Overstock.com Coliseum
|WP: Justin Verlander (1-0), LP: Sonny Gray (0-1), SV: Joaquin Benoit (2)|
|Home Runs: DET - Miguel Cabrera (1)|
- Attendance: 46,959
The Athletics ran into a juggernaut named Justin Verlander in the deciding game of the series. Having one of his best days, he completely muzzled the A's on 2 hits and a walk over 8 innings while striking out 10, leaving with a 3-0 lead that Joaquin Benoit turned into his second save of the series. The same two pitchers as in Game 2 faced each other in this contest; Verlander's presence on the mound was a foregone conclusion for Detroit, given manager Jim Leyland had used Max Scherzer in relief to win Game 4, but for Oakland manager Bob Melvin, the choice was not so obvious: go with a savvy veteran who had been one of the league's best pitchers in Bartolo Colon, or see if the rookie Sonny Gray would once again keep up with the Dutch Master. Gray did not pitch badly, but allowing 10 baserunners and 3 runs in 5 innings was not going to be enough to defeat Verlander when he was absolutely on.
Both starters faced the minimum number of batters through 3 innings, but the Tigers got on the board first in the 4th. Torii Hunter singled with one out, then Miguel Cabrera, whose bat had been relatively quiet until then, hit a ball into the left field stands for a 2-0 lead. The A's would never recover. Detroit threatened to pad its lead as it loaded the bases with two outs, but Gray got Omar Infante to ground out for the last out. The Bengals then put a couple more men on in the 5th, without scoring, but in the 6th Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta opened the inning with singles, ending Gray's day on the mound. Dan Otero succeeded him and limited the damage with three ground balls and a walk, but it was enough for Martinez to score the third run of the game.
Meanwhile, Verlander was continuing to mow down the opposition. He allowed his first baserunner in the 6th when he walked Josh Reddick with one out, but he was left stranded on second base. Yoenis Cespedes singled with two outs in the 7th, and he too was left stranded. Reddick also singled in the 8th, but again to no avail. Oakland,s bullpen was doing a good job keeping the game close, but the offense simply could not generate anything. Benoit came on to pitch the 9th and got two quick outs before Jed Lowrie doubled and Cespedes was hit by a pitch. Seth Smith came to bat representing the tying run, but as in Game 4, he was unable to prolong the game, flying out to Hunter in right field to send the Tigers on their way to the ALCS for the second straight year.
 Related Sites
|Major League Baseball American League Division Series