The Oakland Athletics concluded their 10-game road trip with a flourish, beating the Detroit Tigers 4-2 to finish a four-game sweep and post an 8-2 mark across the three-city trip.
Sean Manaea allowed just a two-run homer to Nicholas Castellanos three batters into his outing, and then held the Tigers down from there, sending Detroit (36-46) to a ninth consecutive loss.
Manaea allowed five hits and one walk, and his command made up for posting only two strikeouts. A two-out infield hit by John Hicks and a single by Victor Martinez loaded the bases in the sixth, but Manaea fanned Niko Goodrum to end the threat and put him in position to earn his eighth win of the year.
Offensively, Oakland (44-38) went homerless for a second straight day, but accumulated 10 hits to beat Michael Fulmer, who had picked the A’s lineup apart over the past two years.
Coming into Thursday, Fulmer had held current A’s to a .200 batting average, but Oakland strung together five hits in the third, starting with singles by Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder. Mark Canha’s single brought home the team’s first run, and Jed Lowrie’s hit tied it before Khris Davis singled home Canha for the go-ahead run. Fulmer did get Matt Olson to bounce into a double play to limit the damage.
The A’s would score again in the fourth, with Stephen Piscotty starting the inning with a single and coming around to score on Pinder’s double.
Other than the flurry of hits in the third and fourth, Fulmer was tough, making his way through eight innings without a walk. Seven of the nine hits he allowed came in those two innings, and he struck out five.
Louis Coleman took care of the ninth for the Tigers, but with the A’s bullpen rolling — as had been the case all road trip — it wouldn’t make a difference. Emilio Pagan and Lou Trivino each pitched perfect innings, and though Blake Treinen walked Hicks to start the ninth, he would get Martinez to ground into a double play before striking out Goodrum to end the game and finish off the sweep.
The 8-2 road trip puts the A’s in optimal position heading into a difficult stretch of schedule, with nine of their next 11 games against a pair of division leaders in the Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros. Only two games against the San Diego Padres — who Oakland swept on the road to open the three-city trip — will provide a break from the division leaders.