Don’t talk wild card or division title to Bob Melvin.
“All I’m trying to do is win as many games as I can,” the A’s manager said Thursday after his A’s came back to drub Detroit 12-4 to break a two-game slide by winning the final game of the series.
Oakland has made a living off other teams’ mistakes this year, while Detroit has spent the season trying to overcome its defensive deficiencies.
“Any time you get down, and someone gets that first run, it’s big,” Melvin said.
The A’s rang up four in the sixth to take control of the game, 6-3, thanks to a rookie mistake plus a knuckling line drive that got by a normally reliable veteran. The A’s moved into a tie in the AL wild-card standings with the Baltimore Orioles, who were idle Thursday.
“Even if we got beat,” Melvin said, “I don’t think we would push the panic button.”
The game began to swing Oakland’s way when Yoenis Cespedes lined a one-out single over short in the sixth.
Brandon Moss rifled a ball that bounced off the right field wall after one hop, and rookie Avisail Garcia showed off his strong arm – except there was nobody where he threw it.
The ball trickled through the middle of the infield as Cespedes scored to make it 3-3, and Moss, credited with a double, moved up to third. After a two-out intentional walk to Seth Smith, Josh Donaldson lined a 2-1 fastball over short to give the A’s a 4-3 edge.
George Kottaras greeted Phil Coke, who relieved starter Anibal Sanchez, with a liner to center that got past Austin Jackson and went all the way to the center field wall for a two-run triple.
Smith hit his 14th home run to lead off the fifth, and Oakland took advantage of a bad Omar Infante throw to first on a potential double play ball with runners at first and third to score an unearned run in the third.
The A’s wrapped it up in the ninth with a six-run frame highlighted by Smith’s three-run double, an RBI double by Donaldson, a Cespedes sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk to Daric Barton.