A's starter Brett Anderson became the 16th player in Major League history to throw at least six scoreless innings in his postseason debut while allowing two hits or fewer. He's the 10th player to do it while walking two batters or fewer. In six regular-season starts, Anderson recorded 54 ground balls compared to 11 fly balls, according to data compiled by MLB.com's GameDay application. After yielding two hits to Detroit in the top of the second inning in Game 3, no ball left the infield while Anderson recorded 10 groundouts and one flyout. His six strikeouts matched his most since Aug. 21, his season debut after a long recovery from June 2011 Tommy John surgery. After the Athletics scored in the first inning, the Tigers put two runners on in the second but failed to plate the game-tying run. It marked the first time in the series the Tigers had failed to immediately respond. In the A's four previous run-scoring innings, Detroit either tied the game or took the lead in the next half-inning. Seth Smith homered off Anibal Sanchez in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the A's a 2-0 lead. Smith is now 7-for-15 with three home runs and four RBIs in his career against the Tigers' righty. Smith entered the game as the last player to take Sanchez deep, Sept. 20 at Comerica Park. Sanchez became the 11th player in Tigers' history to make his postseason debut and give up two runs or fewer in at least 6 1/3 innings. However, he was the first to lose his debut. The A's snapped a six-game losing streak in the postseason. It was their longest postseason skid in franchise history, and all six of those losses were to the Tigers, including a sweep in the 2006 AL Championship Series and Games 1 and 2 of the ALDS this year. However, none of the current players on the A's roster were with the 2006 team, and only Cliff Pennington and Pedro Figueroa were in the organization. Oakland has never come back from a 2-0 deficit to win a series. The team had been swept in six of its last seven series after having dropped the first two games. With A.J. Griffin starting Game 4, all four starters will be in the top 10 in Oakland history for youngest pitchers making their first career postseason starts. Jarrod Parker is third, Anderson is fifth, Griffin would be sixth and Tommy Milone would be 10th (he was eighth youngest when he made his start Monday).
Alex Angert and Anthony Odoardi are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.