A’s beat Verlander, Tigers
June 1, 2010
DETROIT – Oakland pitcher Trevor Cahill was running out of things to do during the extended rain delay.
Luckily for him, he finally got a chance to celebrate the way he hoped – helping his Oakland Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers 4-1.
The start of the game was delayed by 2 hours and 42 minutes due to threatening weather, although no rain fell until more than an hour after the scheduled start.
“That’s tough when you want to pitch, but it is something you have to deal with,” Cahill said of the prolonged wait. “I wandered around for a while, and then the guys had a movie on in the lounge and I watched some of that, and then I moved around some more.”
Once the game started, though, Cahill (4-2) continued his hot streak. He won his third straight start, allowing one run on five hits in 6 1-3 innings, and has allowed three runs in his last 19 innings.
“Trevor didn’t have the command he usually has, but he made pitches when he needed them,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “He was getting groundballs and getting himself out of trouble.”
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Andrew Bailey got the final four outs for his 11th save.
The win was Oakland’s third of the four-game series and fifth out of seven during their ongoing 10-game trip.
“We’re a deadly team when we hit the ball well, pitch well and field well, and that’s what we are doing right now,” said Kevin Kouzmanoff
Detroit has lost five of six.
“We just aren’t doing much offensively,” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. “We had the one pretty good game yesterday where we blew it open a little late, but no, we aren’t doing much. That’s an understatement.”
Justin Verlander (5-4) took his second straight loss, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk in seven innings. He struck out eight.
Verlander appeared out of rhythm when the game finally began, allowing hits to the first three batters. Rajai Davis led off with a single and scored on Daric Barton’s double. Barton took third on Ryan Sweeney’s single and scored when Kurt Suzuki grounded into a double play.
“After a long wait like that, you are always afraid your team will come out sluggish, so I was even more pleased to see us get that quick start,” Geren said. “You don’t want to wait against Verlander, because he gets stronger as the game goes on.”
Verlander, though, didn’t want to blame the delay for the way he began the game. He has struggled with the first inning all season, allowing a .370 batting average.
“I was all over the place and made a couple bad pitches and they hit them,” he said. “It was tough, because I went through my pre-game routine and then had to shut it down for a couple hours, which I’ve never had to do before. But that shouldn’t have any bearing on the game.”
Detroit nearly got on the board in the fourth, but Gabe Gross threw Brennan Boesch out at the plate to end the inning.
Kouzmanoff made it 3-0 with an seventh-inning RBI single after taking two curveballs that Verlander obviously thought should have been strike three. Verlander and Leyland argued with home-plate umpire Laz Diaz after the play and again after the inning.
Neither was ejected, and Verlander downplayed the situation after the game.
“I think it was pretty obvious that I thought they were strikes, and he thought they were balls,” Verlander said. “That’s the game of baseball. I’m obviously the kind of guy who gets fired up out there, and it was a big situation.”
Kouzmanoff’s single broke a 0-for-14 slump.
“That felt good – I hadn’t had one in a while,” he said. “I really liked that it came in a big situation, where we really needed that insurance run.”
Austin Jackson pulled the Tigers within 3-1 with a two-out, pinch-hit single in the seventh, but Oakland added a fourth run in the eighth when Sweeney beat out a possible double-play grounder, allowing Davis to score.
NOTES: Oakland pitcher Dallas Braden entertained the fans during the long rain delay with a running dive across the tarp, while Barton borrowed a news photographer’s camera to take pictures of the stadium and crowd. … Because of the weather, the stadium observance of the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. came with the fans standing on the concourse, watching the rain. … Oakland won 16 games in May, the most in that month since going 18-9 in 2001. … It started to rain again with Detroit batting in the bottom of the eighth, leaving the stadium almost empty by game’s end, except for a large group of seagulls that had gathered in center field.