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MLB playoffs: Detroit beats Oakland 8-6 to force Game 5

Published October 8, 2013 8:24 pm

ALDS • Detroit catches break, and Scherzer shines as reliever.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Detroit • On a night of desperation, dispute and finally, delirium, Max Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers kept their season alive by the slimmest of margins.

A tying home run, helped along by a couple of fans in right field.

A full-count pitch with the bases loaded that was low and inside but became strike three when the batter swung.

A line drive down the line with the bases still full — foul by a few feet.

During a relief outing to remember, Scherzer escaped a major jam one inning after two fans reached out to try to reel in Victor Martinez's disputed home run, and the Tigers rallied past the Oakland Athletics 8-6 on Tuesday to force a decisive fifth game in their AL division series.

Scherzer was in line to start Game 5, but the 21-game winner came on Tuesday instead for his first relief appearance since the 2011 postseason. He wriggled out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the eighth inning and got the win.

"We took our best shot and we had to because we were behind the 8-ball a little bit," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We took that shot and, hey, both teams are going to have a good pitcher going two days from now."

After avoiding elimination, the Tigers can now send Justin Verlander to the mound Thursday night in Oakland. Verlander shut out the A's at the Coliseum in Game 5 of the division series last year.

Oakland hasn't announced a starter for Thursday. It is Bartolo Colon's turn in the rotation, but rookie Sonny Gray could also come back on normal rest after a brilliant performance in Game 2.

Playing catch-up most of the way in Game 4, the Tigers tied it first with Jhonny Peralta's three-run homer in the fifth and then on Martinez's solo shot in the seventh. A couple of fans attempted to catch Martinez's drive, and at least one of them bobbled the ball as he reached over the railing above the wall.

That prevented right fielder Josh Reddick from having any chance at a leaping grab. Reddick and center fielder Coco Crisp protested, pointing up at the stands in the hope of a fan-interference call. But umpires upheld the home run after a replay review.

"I have no doubt I was going to catch that ball. When I looked at the replay, that's what I thought," Reddick said. "It's totally frustrating that a fan can influence the game."

Gary Darling, who was umpiring in right field, disagreed. "It was clear he was not going to catch the ball," Darling said. —

Schedule

NLDS • Pittsburgh (Cole 10-7) at St. Louis (Wainwright 19-9), 6:07 p.m. (TBS) Tigers 8,Athletics 6

Oakland AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

Crisp cf 5 3 4 1 0 0 .500

Donaldson 3b 5 0 1 0 0 1 .176

Lowrie ss 4 2 2 3 1 0 .125

Moss 1b 4 0 0 0 1 1 .133

Cespedes lf 5 0 2 2 0 0 .389

S.Smith dh 4 0 1 0 1 1 .417

Reddick rf 4 0 1 0 0 1 .200

Vogt c 4 1 1 0 0 1 .231

Sogard 2b 1 0 0 0 1 0 .000

a-Cllaspo ph-2b 1 0 0 0 0 0 .333

Totals 37 6 12 6 4 5

Detroit AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

A.Jackson cf 4 0 1 1 0 3 .133

Tor.Hunter rf 4 0 0 0 0 3 .143

Mi.Cabrera 3b 4 0 1 0 0 0 .250

R.Santiago 3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Fielder 1b 3 1 1 0 0 2 .267

V.Martinez dh 4 2 3 1 0 1 .375

2-H.Prez pr-dh 0 1 0 0 0 0 —-

Jh.Peralta lf 3 1 2 3 0 0 .375

1-Dirks pr-lf 0 2 0 0 1 0 .000

Avila c 3 1 0 0 1 2 .167

Infante 2b 4 0 1 2 0 0 .286

Iglesias ss 3 0 0 0 1 1 .083

Totals 32 8 9 7 3 12

Oakland 100 020 102 — 6 12 0

Detroit 000 030 23x — 8 9 0

a-lined out for Sogard in the 8th.

1-ran for Jh.Peralta in the 7th. 2-ran for V.Martinez in the 8th.

LOB—Oakland 9, Detroit 4. 2B—Cespedes (1), Reddick (1), Jh.Peralta (1), Infante (1). 3B—Crisp (1). HR—Lowrie (1), off Fister Jh.Peralta (1), off Straily V.Martinez (1), off Doolittle. RBIs—Crisp (2), Lowrie 3 (3), Cespedes 2 (4), A.Jackson (1), V.Martinez (2), Jh.Peralta 3 (5), Infante 2 (2). S—Sogard.

Runners left in scoring position—Oakland 5 (Crisp, Vogt, Callaspo 2, S.Smith) Detroit 2 (Tor.Hunter, Iglesias). RISP—Oakland 3 for 13 Detroit 3 for 7.

Runners moved up—Moss, Reddick. GIDP—Lowrie, Jh.Peralta.

DP—Oakland 1 (Donaldson, Sogard, Moss) Detroit 1 (Fielder, Iglesias, Fister).

Oakland IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Straily 6 4 3 3 0 8 4.50

Doolittle L, 0-1

12⁄3 3 2 2 1 1 5.40

Otero 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 0.00

Cook 2⁄3 1 2 2 1 1 27.00

Bre.Anderson 1⁄3 1 1 1 1 1 27.00

Detroit IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Fister 6 7 3 3 1 1 4.50

Schrzer W, 2-0 2 3 1 1 2 2 3.00

Benoit 1 2 2 2 1 2 7.71

Inherited runners-scored—Otero 2-0, Bre.Anderson 2-2. IBB—off Scherzer (S.Smith). HBP—by Straily (Fielder). WP—Bre.Anderson, Fister.

Umpires—Home, Jim Reynolds First, Tom Hallion Second, Mike DiMuro Third, Mark Wegner Right, Gary Darling Left, CB Bucknor.

T—3:25. A—43,958 (41,255).