David Price outpitches Jesse Chavez as Tigers beat Athletics
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) David Price considers Detroit's lineup one of the best in baseball and is confident the Tigers will start scoring runs in bunches soon enough.
Price outdueled Jesse Chavez to win for the first time in four starts, and the Tigers bounced back from a shutout a day earlier to beat the Oakland Athletics 1-0 on Tuesday night to end a three-game losing streak.
Price (4-1) gave up five hits, struck out three and walked one in seven innings for a third straight winning decision, but his first victory since May 2 at Kansas City.
''Runs are going to come in this clubhouse, we all know that,'' Price said. ''We never doubt this offense. It's probably the best offense in baseball. We have to hold strong.''
Former A's outfielder Rajai Davis hit a sacrifice fly in the first against Chavez (1-5). Slugger Miguel Cabrera returned to the Tigers lineup after sitting out Monday and extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a ninth-inning single.
Plate umpire Jeff Kellogg took a ball in the mask in the ninth but stayed in the game after being checked, and then a fan ran onto the field to cause another delay.
The A's had baserunners in each of the first five innings and runners in scoring position with fewer than two outs in four of those, but couldn't capitalize. They missed a chance in the eighth, too.
After Ben Zobrist's one-out double in the fifth, Price retired his final eight batters. Joba Chamberlain got two outs in the eighth, Tom Gorzelanny entered and allowed Stephen Vogt's infield single, and then Joakim Soria got the final four outs for his 14th save in 15 opportunities.
Soria retired pinch-hitter Josh Reddick on a comebacker to end the eighth, and then gave up Sam Fuld's two-out double before finishing the ninth.
Certainly Tigers manager Brad Ausmus would like to see less pressure on his pitchers.
''That was all we could muster,'' he said. ''This isn't ideal. We're due to bust out for a period of time, not just one game.''
Detroit slugger Yoenis Cespedes singled in the seventh for his first hit of the series against his former club. He was then thrown out trying to steal second.
Oakland had won a season-high three in a row. The A's also picked up their majors-leading 50th error on backup catcher Josh Phegley's first-inning throw a day after a trio of miscues by the defense.
Chavez lost his second straight start and third consecutive decision dating to a win at Minnesota on May 5. He dropped to 0-4 in 10 career appearances and three starts against the Tigers.
''I don't worry about my own individual record, I just worry about the team's,'' Chavez said. ''I just try to give us a good chance to win every five days.''
He had no chance of following up Jesse Hahn's four-hitter in a 4-0 win Monday with no support.
''He's kind of been the tough-luck loser all year,'' Price said. ''It's tough to see it. It's just not happening for him right now.''
Anthony Gose led off the game with a single, stole second and advanced on Phegley's error. Davis' sacrifice fly was the first run surrendered by Chavez in the first or second innings all season. He moved into the rotation April 23.
Stephen Vogt played first base to give him a break from his regular catching rigors as A's manager Bob Melvin rested second baseman Eric Sogard and right fielder Reddick for most of the night.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander, who hasn't pitched in 2015 because of a strained triceps, threw a 4 1/3-inning simulated game and hopes the next step is a rehab start as long as he feels good a day later. ''All in all very pleased. I'm very optimistic I'm going to feel great tomorrow,'' Verlander said.
Athletics: 2B Zobrist played for the first time since April 24 a day after coming off the DL from left knee surgery. ... LHP Sean Doolittle was activated from the 15-day disabled list after being sidelined with a shoulder injury. He will not move back into the closer role right away. ''He is a difference-maker,'' Melvin said.
Tigers: RHP Alfredo Simon was placed on the bereavement list so he could visit his gravely ill father. He had planned to pitch and then leave the team but needed to push up his flight. The Tigers hoped Kyle Ryan would arrive in time from Triple-A Toledo playing at Louisville, though it was going to be close. Otherwise Ausmus will go with a reliever.
Athletics: LHP Scott Kazmir (2-3) is 0-3 with a 5.14 ERA and .291 opponent batting average over five May starts after going 2-0 with a 0.99 ERA in April.