Price stopper: Lefty stymies A's, snaps Tigers' skid
OAKLAND -- David Price pitched seven shutout innings and the Tigers took advantage of an early A's error to claim a 1-0 victory at the Coliseum on Tuesday night.
Oakland catcher Josh Phegley committed a throwing error trying to nab Anthony Gose on a steal attempt at second base after he singled to lead off the game. Gose came around to score when Rajai Davis lifted a sacrifice fly to right-center field the next at-bat.
"All I had to do was put the ball in play with the infield back," Davis said. "I was trying to hit a grounder to second base. I didn't have to do too much."
Price allowed five hits and a walk while striking out three, moving his record to 4-1 and ERA to 2.97. A's starter Jesse Chavez (1-5, 2.44 ERA) held his own in a hard-luck loss, giving up the unearned run, five hits and two walks while striking out four over eight innings.
"Any win is good," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "The pitching was outstanding. Price did a nice job and we did a nice job behind him. He got the big outs when he needed. This is not ideal. We're close to busting out over an extended stretch."
Miguel Cabrera singled in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Joakim Soria got the final four outs for his 14th save.
"I know he'd rather not do that on a regular basis," Ausmus said of Soria's 1 1/3 innings. "I would prefer not doing it either, but if I feel like it's the best way to win, I will do it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Leading off: Gose was the perfect model of a leadoff hitter in the first inning. He singled, stole second and scurried to third when the throw went into center field. He was able to score standing up when Davis drove a fly ball into right-center field. His 15 multihit games are just outside the AL Top 10. He also increased his batting average against right-handers to .349, surpassing Cabrera (.343) for the team lead.
"He's been doing that all year," Davis said of Gose. "He's playing with a lot of confidence right now. He's coming into his own."
Missed opportunities: The A's were able to make Price labor and put runners on base, but they couldn't capitalize. Oakland went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base. The A's are now 1-10 against left-handed starters.
"It's tough, but it's just a well-fought game from both sides," Phegley said. "Price is a good pitcher and he did his job." More >
The Price is right: Price retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced before turning it over to the bullpen. He did not allow a run in a game for the first time since his first start on April 6, and the Tigers improved to 9-1 in his outings.
"For a micro-second, I thought about letting Price go back out for the eighth," Ausmus said. "It really came down to Joba [Chamberlain's] numbers against the first two hitters in the inning." More >
Sharp Chavez: Price might have earned the victory, but Chavez was able to outlast him and pitched very effectively all night. Chavez faced one batter over the minimum across his final five frames of work. The eight innings tie a career high for Chavez, while the A's have received 28 straight innings with no earned runs from their starting pitching over the past four games. More >
"It was entertaining." -- Ausmus, on Cabrera's attempt to fool Billy Burns into leaving first base in the bottom of the first by faking an overthrow on a pickup attempt.
"I saw him catch the ball and I was ready to run to first base in case he left the bag. I was happy not to see the ball running down the right-field line. Burns goes first to third and it's a different scenario if that happens." -- Price, on Cabrera's play.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With Phegley's defensive miscue in the first, the A's have now committed an MLB-worst 50 errors in 48 games. Their 30 unearned runs allowed are also the most in baseball.
Tigers: Gose looks to continue his hot hitting in Wednesday's series finale against the A's. He's hit safely in 16 of his last 23 games and is hitting .348 during that stretch. Right-hander Alfredo Simon (5-2, 2.67 ERA) gets the start for the Tigers.
A's: Southpaw Scott Kazmir (2-3, 3.09 ERA) will take the mound in Wednesday's 12:35 p.m. PT series finale, seeking his first win since April 13. The veteran hasn't topped six innings in each of his five starts in May, going 0-3 with a 5.14 ERA in that span.
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