OAKLAND, Calif. -- — Eduardo Rodriguez threw seven scoreless innings to end Detroit’s two-game losing streak, and the Tigers beat the last-placed Athletics 2-0 in Oakland’s last home game on Sunday.
Spencer Torkelson had two hits and drove in the only runs in the game with a two-run single in the third, helping Detroit finish 6-4 on its final road trip of the season.
“We weren’t perfect today offensively, but when you have Eduardo going and you have a game like today where he's in charge, it’s a high likelihood you’re going to win,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said.
The A’s (48-108) lost for the ninth time in 11 games and tied the Oakland-era record for most losses in a season, initially set in 1979. The A’s also tied the franchise mark of 55 home losses.
The game drew a crowd of 13,102 that repeatedly filled the air with chants of “Sell the team.” Despite owner John Fisher’s acknowledgment of his intentions to move the franchise, Oakland’s overall attendance of 832,352 at the Coliseum this season was nearly 45,000 more than it was last season (787,902) when the team finished 60-102.
Hinch, who spent three seasons playing for the A’s from 1998-2000, heard the noise and respected it.
“This is a passionate fan base and they deserve their voices to be heard,” Hinch said. “When you hear the chants for three straight days you realize how passionate they are and how much they care about their A’s.”
Rodriguez (12-9) left his previous outing last Monday due to back spasms. He was mostly sharp in his return despite four walks. He allowed five hits and did not allow a run while pitching seven innings or more for the sixth time this season.
“I still had four walks but I feel like everything was working the way that I wanted,” Rodriguez said. “The fastball was working amazing today. Took advantage of it and went out there for seven innings, which is what I really wanted.”
That helped the Tigers finish 41-40 on the road, their first winning road record since 2016.
Shea Langeliers doubled twice for Oakland.
“Once (Rodriguez) settles into a rhythm he can obviously dominate a lineup. He did that today,” A's manager Mark Kotsay said. “Even though we had some opportunities he still shut us down. He’s great at his craft.”
Detroit did all its scoring with some help from the A’s shaky defense. After Parker Meadows doubled and Matt Vierling walked, Andy Ibañez hit a high pop-up to short right that bounced out of second baseman Zack Gelof’s glove for a single. Torkelson followed with his two-run single off starter JP Sears that right fielder Brent Rooker threw wildly back toward the infield for an error — Oakland’s 98th of the season.
The A’s missed their best chance to score in the fourth with runners at second and third with no outs. Detroit shortstop Javier Báez fielded a grounder by Rooker and threw home to get Esteury Ruiz, then helped turn an inning-ending double play on the next batter.
A 2020 Gold Glove winner, Báez made another heads-up play in the fifth after Langeliers doubled. Ryan Noda hit a grounder to Báez, who threw to third to get Noda rather than going for the force out at first.
Sears (5-13) had seven strikeouts and allowed two runs and six hits in five innings. The ironman of the A’s rotation, Sears threw 97 pitches and walked two in his 31st start of the season.
RUIZ CLOSING IN ON ROOKIE RECORD Ruiz stole his 64th and 65th bases for the A’s, moving the speedy outfielder within one of tying Kenny Lofton’s AL record for rookies of 66 set in 1992. Ruiz singled in the first and stole second before getting caught trying to swipe third. He then doubled in the fourth and then was part of a double steal with Gelof.
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera was back in the lineup after an off day for rest. The Tigers slugger, who is retiring at the end of the season, was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his final appearance at the Coliseum.
Tigers: RHP Reese Olson (5-7, 4.13 ERA) goes against Kansas City at Comerica Park on Tuesday. Olson has won three of his last four starts after losing six of his first eight.
Athletics: RHP Paul Blackburn (4-6, 4.11) faces the Twins in Minnesota for the first time in his career Tuesday. Blackburn’s ERA is his lowest since 2017.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb
- Home Plate Umpire - Brian Knight
- First Base Umpire - Dan Merzel
- Second Base Umpire - Todd Tichenor
- Third Base Umpire - Brian Walsh