OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Adam Rosales figured he would see a fastball at some point in his first career at-bat against Detroit closer Francisco Rodriguez.
It just came more quickly than Oakland’s shortstop anticipated.
Rosales hit a two-run single off Rodriguez with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Athletics to a 6-5 victory over the Tigers on Saturday night.
“I was talking to (Stephen) Vogt and Khris Davis before, I was asking them if they’ve ever seen him before,” Rosales said. “They were like, ‘He’s going to give you a fastball sometime.’ So I kept that approach: I know he’s going to give me a fastball. But I didn’t know it was going to be the first pitch and a pitch that I could handle.”
Rodriguez (1-3) retired the first two batters before walking Bruce Maxwell. After Matt Joyce doubled, Rosales lined the first pitch he saw into left field. Maxwell scored easily and Joyce slid into home plate to beat the throw from Justin Upton.
Yonder Alonso homered twice, Ryon Healy also went deep and Frankie Montas (1-0) retired three batters for his first major league win.
The A’s had been 0-15 when trailing after the eighth inning before rallying to upend the Tigers.
“That was fun,” Alonso said. “It was definitely needed. We’re just a bunch of guys that just don’t quit. We grind, and I think we’ve been doing that the past couple days now.”
Oakland couldn’t get much going against Detroit starter Jordan Zimmermann until Alonso’s second home run, a two-run shot in the sixth, closed the gap to 5-4.
Three Tigers relievers combined to retire seven straight batters after Zimmermann left with one out in the sixth before Rodriguez’s two-out meltdown in the ninth. It was the first runs allowed by Detroit’s bullpen in six games.
Rodriguez declined to speak to reporters afterward.
“Any time you lose a game in the ninth inning it stings,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “We got one out away and you have to give them credit for stringing together a walk, a double and a base hit.”
Andrew Romine tripled in two runs, Nicholas Castellanos had two hits and two RBIs and Jose Iglesias singled twice and scored two runs for Detroit.
The A’s won despite committing two errors and getting only one hit from the top third of their batting order.
Zimmermann allowed four runs over 5 2-3 innings with four strikeouts and one walk.
YONDER HE GOES
Alonso hit a solo home run in the fourth and a two-run blast in the sixth, the first multi-homer game of his career. The A’s first baseman has eight home runs this season, one more than he did in 2016. “Just simplify things, making sure I get a good pitch,” Alonso said. “Just making sure I’m working, making sure I’m here early, making sure everybody is getting their work in and we’re focused.”
Athletics: Sean Manaea threw 38 pitches in a bullpen session before the game and came out of it fine, though the team has yet to determine what the next move will be. Manaea has been on the DL since April 27 with a strained left shoulder.
Daniel Norris (2-2) pitches for the Tigers in the series finale Sunday at the Coliseum while Sonny Gray (0-1) makes his second start for Oakland since coming off the DL. Norris has lost just once in 21 career appearances on the road, including 17 starts.