DETROIT — After Oakland opened a trip with a three-game sweep of the New York Yankees and a win at Toronto, the Athletics had high hopes.
Instead, they completed a 5-5, three-city swing with a 7-3 loss Thursday at the Detroit Tigers and headed home after their fifth loss in six games.
“If you had told me at the beginning of this that we were going to go 6-4 or 5-5, I would have been OK with that, given the teams we were facing,” manager Bob Melvin said. “But with the exception of Rich [Hill], this has been six games of our starting pitching getting beaten up.”
Chris Bassitt gave up seven runs, 10 hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. He is 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in his last two outings, allowing 24 runners in 8 2/3 innings.
“I’m falling behind hitters, and then I’m leaving something up in the zone, and they get a hit,” Bassitt said. “It’s a pretty good recipe for failure.”
With Sonny Gray having only pitched two innings Wednesday night, Bassitt had hoped for a much longer outing.
“I knew I needed to give us some innings, but I couldn’t do it,” he said. “We ended up with our top relievers pitching in a game we were losing by five runs, and that’s my fault.”
Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez scraped through 5 2/3 innings, throwing 114 pitches. He allowed two runs and three hits while striking out nine, but walked seven — one shy of his big league high. He allowed three runners to steal without a throw.
“I just tried to do my back turn to throw more innings,” he said. “The mechanics I was trying early in the year didn’t feel comfortable. This felt comfortable. I know it was a lot of balls, but it is the first time since last year.”
After Khris Davis’ RBI single in the ninth, Francisco Rodriguez got the final out for his fifth save in six chances, inducing Stephen Vogt to pop out with runners at second and third.
Anthony Gose came into the game hitting .170 and had not gotten an extra-base hit since homering on opening day, but doubled in the third and homered in the fourth.
Vogt homered for Oakland, which lost for the fifth time in six games and dropped below .500 at 11-12.
Detroit took the lead with four runs in the bottom of the third. After consecutive doubles by Gose and Ian Kinsler, and Miguel Cabrera’s RBI single, there were runners at the corners and no outs when Victor Martinez lifted a fly to shallow left. J.D. Martinez bluffed for the plate, drawing a throw from Mark Canha, but the ball was cut off by Chris Coghlan when Cabrera started jogging to second.
When Coghlan threw to second, Martinez sprinted home and beat Jed Lowrie’s return throw on what was ruled a fielder’s choice. Cabrera went to second.
Martinez got his read from Coghlan — a converted outfielder who is still getting used to third base.
Nick Castellanos added an RBI double. Vogt’s homer cut the deficit to 4-2 in the fourth, but Gose hit a two-run drive in the bottom half.