DETROIT -- Doing the little things added up to another win for the Oakland Athletics.
Emil Brown's sacrifice fly capped Oakland's two-run eighth inning that gave the Athletics a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.Rajai Davis had two triples for Oakland, which has won three of four.Edgar Renteria drove in both runs for Detroit, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.Down 2-1, the Athletics tied it on Davis' second triple, which came off Fernando Rodney (0-5) and scored pinch-runner Eric Patterson from second.It was a drive into the gap in left-center and Davis made up his mind as soon as he hit it."I was thinking three all the way, but it was a play that could have been a double," he said. "But I was able to get to third with one out."And he was able to score easily on Brown's fly ball to center."The little things: Really, that's what it takes to win the close ones," Davis said.Bobby Seay walked Jeff Baisley to lead off the inning and Patterson ran for him."It was leadoff walk in the eighth that came back to haunt us," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.Patterson stole second as Cliff Pennington was called out on strikes and Rodney replaced Seay.Daric Barton was intentionally walked after Davis' triple and Brown hit the fly ball to center.Joey Devine (5-1) went one inning for the win. Brad Ziegler got four outs for his seventh save in as many chances."Whenever we have the lead at the end of a game, it's just my job to keep it that way," Ziegler said.He relieved Huston Street with the bases loaded and two outs and struck out Matt Joyce. He struck out Placido Polanco with runners on first and third and two outs in the ninth.Polanco, who was 2-for-5, has a .409 career batting average against the Athletics."We were fortunate enough to get Polanco out at the end of the game," Oakland manager Bob Geren said.Rodney allowed a run and two hits in two-thirds of an inning.Tigers starter Nate Robertson allowed a run and four hits in seven innings, didn't walk a batter and struck out six. It was his first start since Aug. 20, when he was dropped from the rotation."I just made some small mental adjustments," Robertson said. "I trusted my stuff and didn't become discouraged. I was aggressive and just did my job."Oakland starter Dana Eveland gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings.Renteria's single with the bases loaded gave Detroit a 2-0 lead in the second. It scored Miguel Cabrera, who walked, and Gary Sheffield, who followed with a single. They advanced on Marcus Thames' single.The Athletics were also able to get a runner in from third with less than two outs in the sixth when Davis tripled with one out and scored on Barton's groundout.
Oakland released first baseman-DH Mike Sweeney, who may be facing the end of his 14-year career. He was limited to 46 games this season because of knee injuries and has been told by doctors that he needs microfracture surgery on both knees. The rehabilitation time is projected to be six to nine months. ... Leyland said left-hander Dontrelle Willis and right-hander Freddy Garcia will start next week. Willis, who spent most of the season at Class A Lakeland working on his control, will start in Oakland next Monday night and Garcia, who Detroit signed to a minor-league contract last month, will start against the Athletics the following Wednesday. ... Detroit's Magglio Ordonez went 0-for-4 to snap his 13-game hitting streak (.469, 23-for-49). ... Eveland's start was the 19th straight by a left-hander for the Athletics. The last team with at least that many starts by a left-hander was the 1982 Kansas City Royals, who had 20.