"The frustrating part is not winning," Tigers' manager Brad Ausmus said. "When we need the big inning, offensively or defensively, it goes the opposite direction. I know this team is a winning team, and I'm not worried about it."
Still, after grounding into three more double plays for a Major-League most 51, the frustration may be in not being able to do anything about them.
"I can't tell a guy not to hit into a double play," Ausmus said. "They're up there trying to get a hit. When you get a sinkerball pitcher, that's a recipe for double plays. We're a good right-handed hitting team and we've hit into an overabundance of double plays these first two months."
Without Cabrera, who has a 12-game hitting streak, in the lineup, the Tigers found it difficult to produce a string of hits. Even with the A's defense contributing three errors, the Tigers only had one inning in which there was more than one runner on base for an at-bat.
Ian Kinsler, who has 18 multi-hit games this year, went 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last 20 at bats. Hernan Perez, who got the start at first in place of Cabrera, was 0-for-3 and is now 0-for-16 dating to April 27.
"Everybody will go through their struggles," Ausmus said. "[Kinsler] brings a lot of things to the table. I think that when he steps into the box, he'll get a hit despite what he's done lately."
It was a double play that the Tigers could not turn in the sixth that proved damaging.
The A's had two runners on with one out and Billy Butler at the plate. Shane Greene made a great pitch, jamming Butler, who grounded weakly toward shortstop Dixon Machado, making his Major League debut.
"I don't think anybody turns two on that," Ausmus said. "If Butler hits it to a different place, we turn two and get out of it."
Machado dove to stop the ball and could not get enough on his throw to second to beat Josh Reddick. It was the pivotal play of the game.
"I was trying to throw to second but the guy was too quick," Machado said. "I feel like I can make that play every time, but I didn't. I was not really nervous, I was excited to be out there."
The Tigers were shut out for the first time all season, though Ausmus said that was a little misleading.
"Sure you can say we weren't shut out until Memorial Day, but there were a lot of games we scored one or two runs," he said.