Justin Verlander worked six scoreless innings and Miguel Cabrera drew closer to the American League Triple Crown with his 41st homer as the host Detroit Tigers defeated the A’s 6-2 on Wednesday.
Omar Infante doubled in a pair and scored during a three-run third inning and Jhonny Peralta added an RBI single for the Tigers, who pulled to within two games of the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central. The White Sox fell 3-0 to the Kansas City Royals.
Brett Anderson (4-2) was forced out of the start in the third inning due to an oblique injury for the A’s, who dropped their third straight game.
Verlander (15-8) needed 122 pitches to get through six frames, but struck out five while walking three and scattering five hits. The right-hander got all the support he would need in the third, when Andy Dirks and Gerald Laird reached on back-to-back bunt singles and moved up on a groundout before Infante sent a double to left.
Cabrera extended the lead to 5-0 with a solo home run in the seventh. The deep blast to left drew him to within one homer of Josh Hamilton for the AL lead. Cabrera is setting the pace in batting average (.334) and RBIs (130).
The A’s scored a pair of runs in the ninth on Cliff Pennington and Stephen Drew RBI singles.
NOTES: A’s first baseman Daric Barton started for the first time since May 30 as the team tried to stack the lineup with left-handed bats against Verlander. Barton went 1-for-3. … Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer, who left Tuesday’s start with right shoulder fatigue, is questionable for his next start. An MRI was negative.