Final in 16

Series: Game 1 of 3

Oakland leads 1-0 (as of 5/11)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 11
in 16
Game 2: Wednesday, May 12
Game 3: Thursday, May 13

Athletics 5

(16-16, 9-8 away)

Tigers 4

(15-17, 7-9 home)

    7:05 PM ET, May 11, 2004

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    R H E
    OAK - -
    DET - -

    W: J. Duchscherer (1-1)

    L: D. Patterson (0-2)

    S: J. Mecir (2)

    A's have won four of last five

    DETROIT (AP) -- Damian Miller earned a long, cold soak in a tub filled with ice water.

    After catching for 14 innings and going 0-for-6, Miller hit a tiebreaking, two-out single in the 15th to lead the Oakland Athletics over the Detroit Tigers 5-4 Tuesday night.

    "I told him to go lay in ice," Oakland manager Ken Macha said.

    Eric Chavez walked and Jermaine Dye singled off Danny Patterson (0-2), and Scott Hatteberg was intentionally walked to load the bases for Miller with two outs.

    "As a manager, I'd do the same thing," Miller said after emerging from an extended stay in a cold tub. "It's the right move, but it's always nice to come through in that situation."

    Justin Duchscherer (1-1) allowed only hit over five innings, and Jim Mecir pitched the 15th for his second save.

    "I threw enough pitches for it to be a start," said Duchscherer, a former starter, after throwing 79 pitches.

    Oakland has won four of five after losing nine of 11.

    The A's longest game of the season was a 14-inning loss to Seattle on April 19. Detroit, 1-3 in extra innings, had not played beyond the 10th this season.

    "It's disappointing when you play that long and you don't win," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said.

    Barry Zito and Jason Johnson each gave up four runs and 10 hits. Both teams were able to get strong performances out of their bullpens.

    Detroit's Esteban Yan, Steve Colyer, Ugueth Urbina, Jamie Walker and Al Levine combined to give up just four hits. Oakland's Chad Bradford and Ricardo Rincon allowed three hits over two innings.

    Dye and Bobby Crosby hit leadoff, solo homers in the second and third innings to give Oakland a 2-1 lead.

    Ivan Rodriguez, who left with a cramp in the 15th inning, capped a three-run fifth with an RBI single that put the Tigers ahead 4-3. Hatteberg's single tied the game at 4 in the sixth.

    One game after Mark Mulder gave Oakland's "Big Three" a win for the first time in 16 days, Zito got a no-decision.

    Zito went seven innings, his first outing longer than six innings since his first start, but watched the revamped Tigers scatter 10 singles all over the field.

    "They're a lot different than last year," Zito said. "They've got some guys that can hit."

    Zito, the 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner, was 0-2 with a 9.56 ERA in his previous three starts, and hasn't won since April 18.

    Johnson had another rough outing for the Tigers, who hoped he would be their ace after signing a $7 million, two-year deal in December. The A's chased Johnson with three straight singles to start the fifth, including Hatteberg's game-tying single.

    Since winning the season opener on April 5, Johnson has five losses and didn't factor in the decision for a second time on Tuesday.

    "I'm just really frustrated right now with the way I'm pitching," Johnson said.

    In the first, Alex Sanchez reached on his first of three bunt singles, stole second and third and scored on Rondell White's single.

    Dye hit his eighth home run in the second, ending an 18-game streak without a homer. Crosby's line drive just over the left-field fence put the A's ahead 2-1 in the third.

    Mark Kotsay's RBI double scored Crosby, and gave Oakland a 3-1 lead in the fifth.

    In the fifth, Brandon Inge and Sanchez drove home the first two runs on singles, and Rodriguez gave Detroit the lead with a single.

    Game notes

    Hatteberg had four hits for the sixth time in his career, and the first time since 2002. ... The A's have home runs in 13 consecutive games, their longest streak since hitting homers in 17 straight early in the 2002 season. ... Zito had five strikeouts and one walk. ... The Tigers hope Dmitri Young will return to the lineup in two weeks at Kansas City. He broke his right leg in the second game of the season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press