Even with the top three spots in the lineup going 0-for-12 and a potential candidate to start the All-Star Game on the mound for Detroit, the Oakland Athletics extended their winning streak over the Tigers to 15 games, securing just their second road series win of the year in the process with a 4-1 victory.
Daniel Mengden allowed just one run over seven innings to continue a stretch of phenomenal starting pitching for the A’s, while Chad Pinder and Nick Hundley each took Matthew Boyd deep to mark the team’s first road series win since April 8-11 in Baltimore and extend their winning streak at Comerica Park to 10. Oakland (22-25) has not lost in Detroit since April 28, 2016, and the Tigers haven’t beaten the Athletics at all since May 5, 2017.
Hundley got the scoring started in the third inning with his first A’s homer, a two-run shot that barely cleared the fence in right. Jurickson Profar doubled in a run in the fifth for one of his three hits, and Pinder homered to the deepest reaches of left-center for the second day in a row, hammering a hanging breaking ball 435 feet in the top of the seventh. That production from the bottom of the order kept Oakland’s offense clicking, despite the fact that the A’s struck out 11 times without a walk, and saw no player reach base multiple times aside from Profar. Adding on to that, Khris Davis was scratched with his nagging hip soreness, and Matt Chapman went hitless, extending his slump that’s seen him get just six hits in his last 47 at-bats.
Mengden, meanwhile, cruised through his seven frames, allowing Detroit (18-26) only a single run in the bottom of the fourth as Ronny Rodriguez doubled, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch. Rodriguez’s double was one of the three hits Mengden allowed, and he walked just two, both in the first inning, while striking out five. Rodriguez came up with two outs and two on in the first after back-to-back walks to Nicholas Castellanos and Miguel Cabrera, but he flew out to right to end the inning.
With Mengden’s performance, the A’s have now gotten at least six innings of work and five strikeouts from each of their starters in the last four games. Over that span, Oakland’s starting pitchers have an ERA of 2.12. Only once in that span has an A’s starter given up more than three earned runs (Brett Anderson, 4 ER in 6 IP).
The Tigers would end up with five hits as Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen each allowed the leadoff man to reach in the eighth and ninth innings, but made sure there was no further trouble. Trivino got Josh Harrison to ground out, caught a break when Dawel Lugo to hit a liner right into Matt Olson’s glove and induced a weak flyout from Castellanos to end the frame. Cabrera scorched a single to center off Treinen, but Rodriguez chased a pitch out of the zone and Christin Stewart hit a grounder to Olson, who started a game-ending 3-6-3 double play.