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Semien provides offense as A's sweep Tigers

MLB.com

DETROIT -- Marcus Semien's three RBIs supported seven scoreless innings from Daniel Mengden, sending the A's to their second series sweep of the Tigers at Comerica Park in three years with a 3-2 win Wednesday afternoon.

Oakland has won four in a row and 11 of its last 14. The Athletics have also won five in a row against the Tigers after dropping their season series opener in Oakland back in May.

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DETROIT -- Marcus Semien's three RBIs supported seven scoreless innings from Daniel Mengden, sending the A's to their second series sweep of the Tigers at Comerica Park in three years with a 3-2 win Wednesday afternoon.

Oakland has won four in a row and 11 of its last 14. The Athletics have also won five in a row against the Tigers after dropping their season series opener in Oakland back in May.

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Mengden (2-1) and Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez put on a pitching duel for much of the afternoon, the difference between them coming down to back-to-back third-inning doubles from Bruce Maxwell and Semien. Four innings later, Semien padded the lead with a two-run home run off lefty reliever Daniel Stumpf.

Mengden twirls second straight gem for A's

Video: OAK@DET: Mengden tosses seven shutout innings

"I had to pitch a little more today. Stuff wasn't as good as it was in Philly," Mengden said, referring to his complete-game shutout in his last outing. "But I made some pitches and me and Bruce [Maxwell] stuck to the game plan even though I was a little ragged the first couple innings."

Mengden allowed seven hits over as many innings with no walks and four strikeouts. Sanchez (3-5) turned in his second straight outing of six innings of one-run ball, halting Matt Olson's home run streak at five games in the process, one shy of Frank Thomas' franchise record set in 2006.

"The pitching was good," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We just couldn't score enough runs."

Anibal proving he has more to offer in 2018

Video: OAK@DET: Sanchez fans eight over six frames

The Tigers rallied in the ninth behind a two-run single from Andrew Romine off Ryan Dull, but Liam Hendriks struck out Alex Presley with the potential tying run at second base for his first career save in his 217th Major League appearance.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Nicks, but no cuts: Nobody in the Tigers' lineup has been hotter than Nicholas Castellanos, who extended his hitting streak to 17 games on Wednesday, but Mengden induced two inning-ending outs from the right fielder to strand runners at third. A first-inning liner to center on a slider at the knees halted a scoring chance following a Jeimer Candelario one-out double. With runners at the corners in the third, Mengden retired Castellanos on a similar pitch, flying out to right.

"He did a nice job," Ausmus said of Mengden. "He's got the basic four pitches. His curveball can be good at times. It's really an offspeed pitch, much slower, and he's a little funky."

Video: OAK@DET: Mengden retires Castellanos to escape jam

Semien adds insurance: Semien entered the game batting just .235 (19-for-81) with one home run and 23 strikeouts against lefties, opposite of his career splits, but he worked a 3-1 count against Stumpf, who challenged him with a fastball over the plate and paid for it. The 399-foot drive to left had an exit velocity of 106 mph, according to Statcast™.

"It was a 3-1 fastball elevated, a little bit in, and I was looking for a fastball of course," Semien said. "He did come 2-0 slider, but I didn't want to leave the heater there and I was fortunate enough to get it."

Video: OAK@DET: Semien crushes a two-run shot to left

QUOTABLE
"He drove in all three runs. It's a huge day for him. He doesn't get too many off-days. He got one yesterday and responded today. I don't know if he was more upset with me giving him the off day or if he's actually refreshed. He never wants a day off." -- A's manager Bob Melvin, on Semien's big day following a day of rest on Tuesday

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Olson's home run streak ended as the A's rookie record. His 12 home runs this month are the most ever in September by a Major League rookie, and they tied for the second most by an A's hitter of any experience level. Jason Giambi hit 13 in 2000.

Video: OAK@DET: Olson makes backhanded play in the hole

Castellanos' 17-game hitting streak is the longest by a Tiger since 2011, when Magglio Ordonez finished the season (and his career) on an 18-game streak. Miguel Cabrera also had a 17-game hitting streak that season.

INJURY UPDATE
Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell left the game in the ninth inning after taking a foul ball off the center of his mask. He took a couple warm-up pitches from Hendriks, but came out of the game after dropping one of the two pitches he saw. Melvin said Maxwell doesn't appear to have a concussion, but the club will continue to evaluate him over the next couple days.

Video: OAK@DET: Maxwell exits game after being hit with ball

WHAT'S NEXT
Athletics: Oakland gets the day off on Thursday before beginning the final homestand of the season on Friday against the Rangers. Kendall Graveman (5-4, 4.39 ERA) takes the mound at Oakland Coliseum at 7:05 p.m. PT after his last start was cut short due to rain in Philadelphia.

Tigers: The final home series of the season at Comerica Park begins Thursday, when the Tigers welcome the Twins for a 7:10 p.m. ET game to open a four-game set. Jordan Zimmermann (8-12, 6.18 ERA) will make his first start in three weeks after receiving nerve block treatment on his neck.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Kyle Beery is a contributor to MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the A's on Wednesday.