A's wallop Tigers 17-3
DETROIT — Tired after a long trip, the Oakland Athletics felt a little sluggish.
But once they hit Comerica Park, they again turned sluggerish.
Jurickson Profar launched his first career grand slam and the A’s routed Detroit 17-3 Thursday for their 13th straight victory over the Tigers.
The A’s had lost three straight and were 1-10 in their last 11 road games before romping. They arrived in Detroit after a 4-3 loss at Seattle on Tuesday night.
“I think we were really feeling wiped out this morning,” A’s catcher Josh Phegley said. “It really didn’t feel like we had an off day with a night game, a long flight and then a day game, but it almost gave us a chip on our shoulder out there.”
Phegley had four hits and drove in four runs. He had one of Oakland’s five home runs as the A’s won their eighth in a row at Comerica Park.
Phegley is hitting .295 with an .835 OPS this year.
“If you are looking for All-Star catchers this season, I don’t know anyone more worthy than Josh,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s hitting close to .300 and he’s giving us homers and RBIs. You don’t see that from the nine spot very often.”
Detroit has been outscored 41-9 while losing the first four games of a 10-game homestand.
“I’ve lost games like that before; I’m sure I’ll lose them again,” Tigers second baseman Josh Harrison said. “This is a tough stretch, but you can’t get embarrassed. You just forget about it and try to win the next one.”
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire was forced to use Brandon Dixon to pitch the ninth inning — the infielder/outfielder, who had two scoreless appearances on the mound for Cincinnati last year, gave up a two-run homer to Mark Canha.
“I hate doing that — I absolutely hate it,” Gardenhire said. “I’ve been managing for a long time and that’s only the second time I’ve ever done it. There was just no one left in our bullpen and Brandon told me he did a few times last year with Cincinnati, so I put him out there.”
Matt Olson and Marcus Semien also homered for Oakland.
Ohio native Chris Bassitt (2-1) pitched eight shutout innings in front of a large group of friends and family.
“I not only saw all of his fans, I heard them,” Melvin said. “They were the ones booing me when I took him out.”
Three of Bassitt’s six career wins have come against the Tigers, all at Comerica Park.
“This is basically my home away from home,” said Bassitt, who grew up about 90 minutes away. “I was blessed to live so close to a great pitcher’s park.”
Spencer Turnbull (2-3) took the loss for Detroit, allowing six runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits and two walks. He was the fourth straight Tigers starter to fail to reach the fifth inning.
Dawel Lugo hit a three-run homer with two outs in the Tigers ninth off Aaron Brooks.
The Tigers had the game’s first scoring chance when Ronny Rodriguez tripled with one out in the second inning, but he was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Harrison’s grounder to third.