Verlander, power hitters lift Tigers over A's

Posted at 10:58 PM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-27 22:58:58-04

DETROIT -- Justin Verlander pitched impressively into the seventh inning, J.D. and Victor Martinez both homered and the Detroit Tigers beat the Oakland Athletics 9-4 on Wednesday night.

Detroit manager Brad Ausmus shuffled his lineup before the game, moving J.D. Martinez from fifth to second in the batting order as he switched spots with Justin Upton. The moves paid off when J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer in the second inning. Victor Martinez added a three-run shot of his own in the sixth.

Verlander (2-2) allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, his third straight quality start since allowing seven runs against Pittsburgh on April 11.

Sonny Gray (3-2) lasted only two innings in the shortest start of his big league career. He allowed four runs, two hits and four walks, throwing 65 pitches.

Detroit had lost seven of its previous nine, scoring more than three runs only once in the prior seven games. Ausmus was hoping something would click if he adjusted the lineup, and Detroit broke through with four runs in the second.

Nick Castellanos led off with a triple and scored on a one-out grounder by Anthony Gose. With his pitch count already mounting, Gray allowed J.D. Martinez's homer to right-center field, which made it 4-0.

Khris Davis hit a long solo homer in the fourth for Oakland. His drive cleared Al Kaline's No. 6 on the brick wall beyond the bullpen in left-center and would have traveled 449 feet unimpeded, according to MLB's Statcast

J.D. Martinez drove in another run in the fourth with a sacrifice fly, and Victor Martinez's homer made it 8-1.

Verlander struck out six and walked two.


Athletics: RHP Henderson Alvarez (right shoulder) threw off flat ground Wednesday. ... Oakland transferred LHP Felix Doubront (left elbow) to the 60-day disabled list. The A's also selected the contract of OF Matt McBride from Triple-A Nashville and optioned RHP Andrew Triggs to Nashville. Oakland prospect Sean Manaea will pitch Friday against Houston.

Tigers: C James McCann (right ankle) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday night, going 0 for 3 with two walks as a designated hitter.


Chris Bassitt (0-1) is to start the series finale Thursday, when Anibal Sanchez (2-2) will try to bounce back after allowing six earned runs in 2 1/3 innings against Cleveland on Saturday.