DETROIT -- Anthony Gose hit a two-run homer and scored on an Ian Kinsler double as part of an early-inning Tigers outburst, supporting Anibal Sanchez through a wild outing for a 7-3 win and a series victory over the A's Thursday at Comerica Park.
Detroit's tinkered lineup, with J.D. Martinez batting second in front of Miguel Cabrera, wore down an Oakland starter with a 40-pitch inning for a second straight game, this one a four-run third off Toledo native Chris Bassitt. Kinsler and Nick Castellanos doubled in a run each, including Gose, who hit a no-doubt drive to right field an inning later for his second homer of the season.
"We were struggling for a little bit there," J.D. Martinez said. "But these three games, the last two days for sure, it feels a little bit different, a little more excitement, a little more energy. We're trying to get our confidence back. I think that's the most important thing. As long as we keep our confidence and make teams kind of scared to play us, that's half the battle right there."
Sanchez, who brought back a hint of the hip turn he took out of his delivery in Spring Training, allowed just a Josh Reddick RBI single in the third and Stephen Vogt solo homer for the fourth for Oakland's damage. Seven walks left Sanchez dealing with baserunners for most of his 5 2/3 innings, but he contained the damage with help from nine strikeouts.
Khris Davis added an RBI single in the ninth for the A's.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Gose aloft: The A's had crept within 4-2 on Vogt's homer in the fourth, giving Bassitt another chance with the bottom of the Tigers' order up in the bottom half of the inning. A leadoff walk to Jose Iglesias brought up Gose, who jumped a 2-0 pitch and drove it into the right-field seats for a two-run homer that restored the Tigers' early margin.
Reddick gives A's early lead: A two-out rally put the A's on the board first. In the third, back-to-back walks to Billy Burns and Jed Lowrie were followed by a Reddick single to center off a 2-2 fastball to give Oakland a 1-0 lead.
Diversionary tactic: The Tigers snuck a run home with a bit of improvisational baserunning from Cabrera. He was on first base with J.D. Martinez on third on Victor Martinez's fly ball to shallow left, then took off for second when left fielder Mark Canha fired home. Cabrera seemed doomed for an out when the throw was cut off, but when he stopped to try to force a rundown, it allowed J.D. Martinez to beat a throw home for a 3-1 lead.
"What Miggy was doing was reading J.D., and if J.D. was tagging, Miggy was going to tag, or maybe force a throw and get a run," manager Brad Ausmus said. "But J.D. did such a good job of bluffing, he bluffed Miggy. Miggy thought he was going home, because J.D. had gone down the line quite a bit. From that point on, it was kind of baseball instincts. Miggy realizes he's in trouble, he stops to make sure that they have to come tag him, they make the throw, J.D. reads the throw and is able to beat it home."
Bassitt knocked around again: Bassitt entered the third inning with the lead, but gave up four runs in the frame to put the A's in a hole they would not recover from. He didn't make it out of the fourth. Bassitt has allowed 13 runs over his last two starts after giving up six total in his first three starts.
"Just falling behind a lot of hitters and up in the zone," Bassitt said. "It's a mixture for failure." More >
"It's amazing, isn't it? Your season's over one day, and four days later, you're contenders." -- Ausmus, on rebounding from sweep to Cleveland last weekend to win three out of four against Oakland
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How rare is an outing with three or fewer hits, but seven or more walks and nine or more strikeouts? Sanchez became just the second Major League pitcher to hit those marks in a game in 10 years. Oakland's Sonny Gray walked seven and struck out 10 over 6 2/3 scoreless innings of two-hit ball on May 3 of last year. No Tiger had done it since Bill Laxton walked seven and fanned nine over 7 1/3 innings of one-hit relief May 21, 1976. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Athletics: The A's will return home for the first time since April 17 for a three-game series against the Astros at 7:05 p.m. PT on Friday. Top pitching prospect Sean Manaea will get the start for his Major League debut.
Tigers:Top prospect Michael Fulmer will make his highly-anticipated Major League debut Friday when the Tigers open a three-game series against the Twins with an 8:10 p.m. ET matchup at Target Field.