Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez stands on the mound as manager Jim Leyland walks up to replace him during the fifth inning today in Detroit.
DETROIT — Anibal Sanchez endured the worst home start of his season and the manhunt continued for the Tigers' bats as Detroit moved to the brink of postseason elimination with a 6-3 loss to the Athletics today at Comerica Park.
Before a crowd of 43,973, Oakland took a 2-1 lead in this best-of-five AL division series with a stunning early offensive barrage. Josh Reddick, Brandon Moss, and Seth Smith all homered as the A's rocked Sanchez, the league ERA leader, for six runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings.
The Tigers, meanwhile, overcame a 3-0 deficit with three runs in the fourth inning — the biggest blow a two-run single by Jhonny Peralta. But they fell familiarly silent the rest of a cool afternoon.
While Detroit snapped its scoreless innings streak at 20, it has now scored just 20 runs in its past 10 games and faces the tide of history.
A's closer Grant Balfour worked around a two-out walk and a minor bench-clearing altercation with Detroit's Victor Martinez to earn the save.
Game 4 is 5 p.m. Tuesday at Comerica Park.