All it took was one hanging slider.
The Oakland Athletics dropped Game 1 of the series to the Detroit Tigers after Rajai Davis deposited a game-winning grand slam into the seats in left field. Closer Sean Doolittle surrendered the decisive shot on a slider that never slid. The club now falls to 51-31 following the loss.
Left-hander Scott Kazmir worked 5.1 innings and allowed just one run on four hits while racking up seven strikeouts. The lefty had to exit in the middle of the sixth after landing awkwardly following his 99th pitch of the game. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle Kazmir was simply dealing with “cramping.”
The A’s opened up the scoring in the sixth when Lowrie dunked a two-out, bases-loaded single to center field to drive in Brandon Moss. Detroit then pulled back a run half an inning later as Miguel Cabrera sent a moon shot beyond the wall in left.
Oakland jumped back ahead in the eighth. After Yoenis Cespedes reached on a throwing error, Moss clubbed a double to left to make it 2-1. The A’s added on two more runs courtesy of yet another RBI-single off the bat of Lowrie.
With the A’s holding a 4-1 lead in the ninth, the wheels fell off for Doolittle. The lefty issued his first walk since May 20 and served up a pair of singles before Davis ended it. Doolittle has now botched two save attempts in a row.
Up next, the A’s take on the Tigers on Tuesday at Comerica Park. Brad Mills (1-0, 4.35 ERA) gets the call opposite of Rick Porcello (10-4, 3.41 ERA) with first pitch scheduled for 4:08pm PT.
Note: Cespedes left the game in the middle of the eighth inning. The left-fielder had a “left hamstring issue” and is “unlikely to play” in Game 2 of the series, according to Joe Stiglich of CSN California. Cespedes was also hit with a pitch in his hand in the first inning.