OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — David DeJesus hit a three-run homer in the first, Brandon McCarthy pitched seven strong innings and the Oakland Athletics snapped Detroit’s 12-game winning streak with a 6-1 victory on Thursday night, delaying the Tigers chance to clinch the AL Central Division title.
Delmon Young hit a home run for the Tigers, who still say their magic number drop to one when the Cleveland Indians fell to the Texas Rangers 7-4 earlier in the evening. The Tigers need any combination of a win or a Cleveland loss over the final 12 games to clinch the division.
Kurt Suzuki and Cliff Pennington each hit a solo home run for the A’s, who won for the second time in five games. Coco Crisp added three hits and drove in a run.
McCarthy (9-8) allowed one run on five hits to improve to 3-2 with a 2.15 ERA over his last five starts. He walked two and struck out eight.
Max Scherzer (14-9) lasted five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out eight.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland will get a new change of underwear when his team goes for their first outright title since 1987 on Friday night. He said before the game that he had not changed (nor washed) his underwear during the 12-game winning streak.
The Tigers have not finished first since taking the AL East nearly a quarter-century ago. They only playoff appearance since then came in 2006, when they won the wild card.
DeJesus ended a 79 at-bat homerless streak with his three-run shot with two outs in the first. Coco Crisp, who returned to the lineup after missing several games with an ankle injury, singled to lead off. He was forced at second by Pennington. After Hideki Matsui fouled out, Scherzer walked Josh Willingham ahead of DeJesus.
Suzuki led off the second with a home run and Pennington led off the fifth with a homer. Crisp doubled home a run in the eighth.
Young’s home run made it 4-1 in the third.
Magglio Ordonez extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a first-inning single but Ramon Santiago went 0-for-3, ending his nine-game streak.
The A’s (22-20) and Tigers (22-19) had similar records following game action on May 17. The teams have gone in notably different directions since.
Detroit was eight games behind the Cleveland Indians and four games under .500 on May 3. The Tigers have played .625 ball since and is one the verge of becoming the sixth team since 2000 to win a division title after being behind by at least eight games at some point in the season.
Notes: The last time the A’s played a team on a 12-game hitting streak was at Baltimore in 1999. … RHP Trevor Cahill (11-13, 4.32) goes for the A’s on Friday night. The former All-Star is 3-6 with a 6.86 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star Break. He beat the Tigers on April 17, allowing one run in eight innings. … Scherzer recorded his career high 14 strikeouts in 5 2-3 innings against the A’s in May. … Doug Fister (8-13, 3.06) makes the start for the Tigers on Friday night. He has been outstanding since joining the Tigers, going 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA. He is 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA in his last five starts. … A’s IF Jemile Weeks (leg cramps) was out of the starting lineup for the second straight day ads a precautionary measure.
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