Live Tigers blog: Tigers win, 9-4

Al Willman
The Detroit News
Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander works in the first inning.

The Tigers won the third of a four-game set against the Oakland A's Wednesday night, 9-4.

Francisco Rodriguez threw a perfect ninth for the Tigers, after being activated from the family emergency list earlier Wednesday afternoon.

Justin Verlander started for the Tigers and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out six and walking two. J.D. Martinez hit second for the first time in his career and was 2-for-3 with a home run, a double, a walk and four RBIs. Victor Martinez hit a 3-run home run in the sixth inning.

Justin Upton, who switched with Martinez in the lineup, was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.

Sonny Gray started for Oakland and lasted only two innings. He allowed four runs on two hits while walking four and striking out two.

Bottom 8th: Tigers score, lead 9-4

J.D. Martinez got another hit in the eighth — a double — and advanced to third on a wild pitch from A's lefty Marc Rzepczynski. Martinez scored on another Rzepczynski wild pitch, giving the Tigers a 9-4 lead. Justin Upton struck out to end the inning — his third of the night.

Top 8th: A's chip away at lead

After getting the first out of the eighth inning, Justin Wilson was relieved by right-hander Drew VerHagen, who immediately gave up a triple to Khris Davis. Jed Lawrie singled in Davis, still with one out. VerHagen got the final two outs, and the Tigers still lead 8-4.

Bottom 7th: Tigers go quietly, lead 8-3

Jose Iglesias walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh for the Tigers, but was thrown out on a fielder's choice off the bat of Bobby Wilson. Anthony Gose then grounded into an inning-ending double play. After seven, the Tigers still lead 8-3.

Top 7th: A's score twice, Tigers up 8-3

After allowing a leadoff double to Jed Lowrie and an RBI double to Billy Butler, cutting the Tigers lead to 8-2, the Tigers pitching settled in. Two batters later, Justin Verlander was lifted for right-hander Alex Wilson. He and left-hander Justin Wilson combined to allow one run, which was charged to Verlander. At the seventh inning stretch, the Tigers lead 8-3.

Bottom 6: V-Mart goes yard

The Tigers broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth on a 3-run home run by Victor Martinez — his fourth of the season. Ian Kinsler led off the inning with a single, and Miguel Cabrera singled two batters later, before Martinez sent the ball over the wall in right. After six, the Tigers lead 8-1.

Top 6th: Verlander gets 2nd straight 1-2-3

Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander set the A's down 1-2-3 for the second straight inning, and retired his ninth batter in a row after allowing a solo home run to Khris Davis in the fourth. Going to the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers lead 5-1.

Bottom 5th: Iglesias singles, steals, stranded

Jose Iglesias singled with one out in the bottom of the fifth for the Tigers. He stole second when Bobby Wilson struck out swinging, and was stranded when Anthony Gose struck out looking. After five, the Tigers are up 5-1.

Top 5th: A's go down quietly

Tigers starter Justin Verlander appeared to settle back into the groove he was in earlier in the game, retiring the A's in order in the top of the fifth. The Tigers go to bat in the fifth leading 5-1.

Bottom 4th: Tigers get run back

After Anthony Gose reached on a Marcus Semien error to lead off the fourth for the Tigers, and advanced to third on a bad pickoff attempt by A's pitcher Ryan Dull, Detroit scored again. J.D. Martinez hit a long sacrifice fly to a running right fielder Khris Davis — his fourth RBI of the night. After four, the Tigers lead 5-1.

Top 4th: Davis goes deep, JV settles in

Oakland’s Khris Davis led off the top of the fourth with a long home run to center field — the third solo home run given up by Tigers starter Justin Verlander in two starts. Verlander got the next three outs in a row, and going to the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers remain ahead, 4-1.

Bottom 3rd: A's go to Dull

The A's brought left-hander Ryan Dull in to replace starter Sonny Gray to start the bottom of the third inning. Dull gave up a 2-out single to Jose Iglesias, but nothing more. After three, the Tigers are up 4-0.

Top 3rd: JV, Tigers, escape jam

After the A's loaded the bases with one out in the top of the third, on a pair of walks and a single, Tigers starter Justin Verlander pitched out of the jam. He struck out Chris Coghlan swinging and got Josh Reddick to pop out to center fielder Anthony Gose to end the inning. Going to the bottom of the third, the Tigers lead 4-0.

Bottom 2nd: Tigers explode for 4 runs​

The Tigers, whose offense was lacking last night, exploded for four runs in the bottom of the second off A's starter Sonny Gray. After Nick Castellanos, who led off the inning with a triple, scored when Anthony Gose grounded into a fielder's choice, J.D. Martinez hit a three run home run with two outs, giving Detroit a 4-0 lead after two innings.

Top 2nd: Verlander K's pair

Tigers starter Justin Verlander retired the A's 1-2-3 for the second straight inning, striking out Jed Lawrie and Billy Butler in order to end the frame. Going to the bottom of the second, there is no score.

Bottom 1st: Tigers strand pair

After right fielder J.D. Martinez, batting second for the first time in his career, drew a 1-out walk, and Victor Martinez was hit by a pitch on his right foot with two down, Justin Upton grounded out to second base to end the bottom of the first for the Tigers. After one, the Tigers and A's are scoreless.

Top 1st: JV sets A's down in 1st

Tigers starter Justin Verlander, coming off a loss to Cleveland on Friday in which he gave up a pair of home runs, set the top of Oakland's order down in the top of the first inning. Going to the bottom of the first, the game is scoreless.

How to watch

The Tigers and right-handed starter Justin Verlander look to break a 1-1 series deadlock with the A’s Wednesday after a dreadful 5-1 defeat Tuesday.

Verlander (1-2, 5.79), who is making his fifth start this season, gave up two runs on four hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in seven innings while taking the loss in his last start against the Indians on Friday. Right-hander Sonny Gray (2-1, 2.73) counters for the A's.

On a chilly night Tuesday, the Tigers bats reverted to their slumbering ways as starter Mike Pelfrey (0-4) was roughed up once again. A’s left-handed starter Rich Hill held the Tigers to only four hits over scoreless seven innings. Detroit’s lone run came in the bottom of the ninth when Victor Martinez doubled home Ian Kinsler, who had singled, off Oakland reliever John Axford.

With a left-hander starting, left-hand hitting outfielder Tyler Collins didn’t start. Major League Baseball announced it will not suspend Collins for making an obscene gesture towards fans in Monday’s 7-3 win after he was booed for misplaying a fly ball. No word on whether he will be fined by the league or Tigers, though. Collins was demoted to Triple A Toledo to make room for closer Francisco Rodriguez, who was activated from the family leave list Wednesday afternoon.

If the team continues to struggle, there are reinforcements at Triple A Toledo. Outfielder Steven Moya (.303, 5 HRs, 12 RBIs), right-hander Michael Fulmer (1-1, 4.11), left-hander Daniel Norris (0-1, 5.40)  and shortstop Dixon Machado (.200, 0 HRs, 6 RBIs) are poised to make the jump to the big-league level this season.


1. Coco Crisp, CF

2. Chris Coghlan, 3B

3. Josh Reddick, RF

4. Khris Davis, LF

5. Jed Lowrie, 2B

6. Billy Butler, DH

7. Yonder Alonso, 1B

8. Josh Phegley, C

9. Marcus Semien, SS

Sonny Gray, SP


1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. J.D. Martinez, RF

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. Justin Upton, LF

6. Nick Castellanos, 3B

7. Jose Iglesias, SS

8. Bobby Wilson, C

9. Anthony Gose, CF

Justin Verlander, SP

Tigers vs. A’s

What: Third of a four-game series

When: Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.

Where: Comerica Park

Local TV: FSD

Internet streaming: MLB.TV

Local radio: 97.1 FM

Satellite radio: Sirius, SIRI 216; XM, XM 178; SiriusXM, SXM 178 (Internet 849)