The Oakland Athletics were down one going into Saturday’s game and needed to pull out a win so they did not fall deeper into the hole. Pitcher Bartolo Colon allowed three errors and ten hits, the A’s lineup struck out 16 times, and they only were able to get three hits off of Detroit Tiger ace Max Scherzer.
For game two, it was time to turn things around. Rookie Sonny Gray was on the mound. He had not pitched against the Tigers before and it was his first time pitching in the MLB postseason. Even though Gray has been phenominal since being brought up from Triple-A in July, there was some worry that the nerves would get to him.
But Gray proved everyone wrong. He pitched eight strong innings, stuck out nine, and only allowed four hits. Detroit outfielder Torii Hunter, who Gray struck out four times, even praised Gray for his skills after the game. However, Gray’s shining moment was in the fifth inning when he went down 3-0 against Tiger Austin Jackson with runners on first and third. Gray was able to strike him out and Stephen Vogt threw out Jose Iglesias trying to steal second for the third out.
Gray even outshined veteran Detroit Pitcher Justin Verlander, who pitched a solid game himself and looked better than he had the whole 2013 season. The A’s worked him until he finally cracked in the seventh inning after 117 pitches and he was taken out of the game. Verlander was able to strike out 11 and allowed only four hits.
The game was still scoreless going into the bottom of the ninth. The A’s quickly loaded the bases with Yoenis Cespedes and Seth Smith singling off of pitcher Al Alburquerque. Josh Reddick was then intentionally walked.
Rick Porcello came in to pitch for the Tigers and Stephen Vogt stepped up to the plate. Vogt lined a single to left that drove in the winning run. Cespedes scored and the O.co Coliseum went wild. Faces were pied and Gatorade jugs were poured on heads. After a three and half hour mostly scoreless game, the Athletics had finally pulled out the victory.
Now the Athletics head off the Detroit for game three. Tied at one, a win in the next game will help give the Oakland Athletics the momentum they need to win the series. They were able to find success in Detroit before, so hopefully they will be able to do that again.