A's continue to protect home, get by Tigers on Crosby's 9th-inning hit

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Bobby Crosby figured wrong on the first pitch and had to laugh at himself. He guessed right on the third one.

Crosby's RBI single in the ninth inning lifted the Oakland Athletics to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.

"I was looking for a fastball over the plate and he threw me a split on the first pitch," Crosby said. "He made me look foolish. It was awful. Once it went to 1-1 I thought he had to throw a fastball."

Crosby doubled in his first two at bats before grounding out and hitting into a double play.

"I felt comfortable the whole day," Crosby said. "I felt loose. Those third and fourth at bats, I got a little greedy and a guy like Kenny [Rogers] makes you pay."

Kurt Suzuki led off the ninth with a sharp single off Francisco Cruceta (0-3) and went to second on Jack Hannahan's sacrifice. He scored easily as Crosby's hit traveled to the wall in right-center field.

"I was trying to throw my fastball for strikes," Cruceta said. "I've been struggling the last couple of games."

Huston Street (1-1) pitched a scoreless inning to earn the victory as the A's won for the sixth time in their last eight at home.

The Tigers dropped to 4-12 on the road since sweeping the Yankees in New York in early May.

Daric Barton led off the seventh inning with his third home run, going deep on a 1-0 pitch from the Tigers' Rogers, to tie the score 2-2.

"A huge part for him is his self-control and knowledge of the strike zone," A's manager Bob Geren said. "He was aggressive [on Sunday] and still walked four times. You know he's seeing the ball pretty good."

Mark Ellis hit a sacrifice fly to put the A's up 1-0 in the first inning.

Detroit went ahead with two runs in the sixth on Curtis Granderson's seventh home run leading off the frame and an RBI single from Jeff Larish.

"It's just about getting relaxed and trust myself," said Larish, a college teammate of A's outfielder Travis Buck at Arizona State.

A's starter Rich Harden went 6 2/3 innings in his fifth start since returning from the disabled list. He allowed two runs and five hits, walking three and striking out eight.

"Take away the strikeouts and maybe I get into the eighth," said Harden, who threw a season-high 115 pitches. "Strikeouts definitely make you throw more pitches. But when you do get two strikes, you want to put people away."

Harden retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced. He walked two in the fifth.

"Getting over 100 pitches was big for me," Harden said. "That's something I can take from my last couple of starts. I felt strong and I want to build on that."

Rogers matched his season high with seven innings pitched, giving up two runs, five hits and four walks while striking out three.

"That's quite a contrast in styles," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "You have a young guy with overpowering stuff and then you've got an old-timer who throws a masterful game."

Game notes
Harden has made five consecutive starts without missing a turn in the rotation for the first time in more than two years. ... Rogers has lost just four times in 57 appearances in Oakland, and is 23-1 here since 1995. He brought a 10-1 mark against the A's since 2002 and a seven-game winning streak dating to September of 2004. ... Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez was in a 1-for-20 slump before singling in the seventh.