Lowrie doubled in Semien in the first inning, then hit a sacrifice fly to plate the shortstop again in the third as part of a four-run inning off Tigers starter Buck Farmer, punctuated by Olson's two-run homer. A bases-loaded walk from Artie Lewicki to Lowrie in the third scored Bruce Maxwell to help put the game away.
"I didn't really think about my last start," Alcantara said. "I was just kind of preparing like a reliever, go inning by inning and pitch one inning at a time and see how far I could go."
Liam Hendriks (4-2) tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief to collect the win. Ian Kinsler added his 19th home run of the season and his fifth of September, and Nicholas Castellanos had three hits, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Olson homers again: Olson arrived in Detroit having homered in three consecutive games, all in the hitter-friendly confines of Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park. He made Comerica Park look similarly cozy with a towering drive over the cutout in right-center field for his fourth consecutive game with a homer, his 14th home run since Aug. 27. Statcast™ estimated the launch angle at 36 degrees.
"He's hot, really not, and he's not missing mistakes," Tigers catcher James McCann said of Olson. "You go watch video, and he's not missing right now. It does make it tough. You have to be perfect."
JaCoby on the run: Though the A's pulled away with their four-run third inning, they could have had more if not for a running catch by JaCoby Jones, who ran down a Matt Chapman line drive that had a 105-mph exit velocity and a 65 percent hit probability according to Statcast™.
"I wouldn't say I expect it. You can't expect something like this to happen. I know I'm capable of it. Just kind of sit back and be in the moment and approach it the same way as the day before." -- Olson, on his recent hot streak at the plate
"Right now, we're not worried about that. We're trying to play baseball. We're trying to play aggressive baseball, be ready to play, not allow that to put us in a lull and continue to play good defense and good offense, try to swing the bats as best we can. That's really it." -- Kinsler, on Tigers' pitching struggles
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Olson tied the Athletics' franchise record for most consecutive games with a home run by a rookie, set by Dan Johnson in 2005. Frank Thomas set the overall franchise record with home runs in six consecutive games from Sept. 5-11, 2006.
Cotton was scheduled to start the game, but was scratched after suffering a right groin strain during pregame warmups. Alcantara scrambled to the bullpen to warm up in his place.
Manager Bob Melvin said Cotton felt a pull in his groin while throwing off flat ground and the team will evaluate him tomorrow to see where he stands.
"I've never had that problem before. Freak accident. I was ready and prepared today to go out and pitch for my team," Cotton said.
Tigers reliever Jeff Ferrell left the game in the eighth inning after a Ryon Healy line drive hit him in the head. The ball seemingly hit Ferrell off the back of his skull before bouncing all the way to first base. Ferrell stayed upright, but immediately began walking toward the Tigers' dugout. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand met him halfway and escorted him to the training room for further evaluation. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Athletics:Daniel Gossett (4-9, 5.02) takes the mound Tuesday at Comerica Park looking for his first road win since Aug. 2 at San Francisco. The right-handed rookie allowed three runs over 5 1/3 innings at Boston his last time out. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. PT.
Tigers:Chad Bell (0-3, 6.42) continues his search for his first Major League win as the series continues Wednesday night with a 7:10 p.m. ET game. The converted long reliever has yet to complete five innings in a start.