The Oakland Athletics snapped Detroit's 12-game winning streak with a 6-1 win on Thursday, halting the Tigers' march toward their first division title since 1987.
The Tigers had a chance to sew up the American League Central title after the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox both lost their games.
We just have to go out and win a ballgame, manager Jim Leyland said. That's just the way it is. It's down to one, but we did catch a break. We went from two to one even though we didn't win the game.
Somehow we've got to get the one now. That's really where it stands. That's what we want.
Oakland's David DeJesus hit a three-run homer in the first inning before Kurt Suzuki added another run with a solo blast in the second inning.
Right before I hit the homer, I just missed two fastballs straight back, DeJesus said. I felt good on my swings, and he threw a changeup, and my thought process was going the other way, and I was able to stay through the ball and get it over the wall.
It was a big inning, kind of get it going in the right direction early on. You want to put them in a hole early on.
Delmon Young hit a home run to put Detroit on the board but Cliff Pennington responded with a solo home run for Oakland. Coco Crisp hit an RBI double to score Brandon Allen in the eighth inning.
In a match-up between the two top teams in the American League Wild Card race, the Tampa Bay Rays beat the front-running Boston Red Sox 9-2 in the first game of a four-game series to trim the Red Sox lead to three games.
Evan Longoria drilled a three-run homer while Casey Kotchman and B.J. Upton both hit two-run homers to pace the Rays offense.
It's one game, one game, and it's great to get the first one like we did, manager Joe Maddon said. And we can move to tomorrow, but it's about Friday night now. Tonight was about Thursday. Tomorrow's about Friday. Let's win tomorrow night's game and move on from there.