DETROIT (AP) — Ben Zobrist’s grand slam highlighted a five-run seventh inning for Oakland as the Athletics rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
Alfredo Simon (5-3) held the A’s to one hit over the first six innings, but the Tigers scuffled defensively in the seventh, and Oakland had the bases loaded with one run already in when the right-hander was pulled. Angel Nesbitt came on in relief, and Zobrist greeted him with a line drive over the wall in right field for his sixth career grand slam.
Kendall Graveman (3-2) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings. Evan Scribner pitched two perfect innings of relief, and Tyler Clippard finished for his eighth save.
Simon allowed four runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings. He walked five and struck out six.
The Tigers have lost a season-high five straight.
Simon walked two in the first and three in the fourth, but he did not allow a hit until the fifth. With the A’s down 3-0, Oakland’s Brett Lawrie led off the seventh with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Marcus Semien hit a one-out grounder that shortstop Jose Iglesias fielded while ranging well to his right. Iglesias flipped the ball toward third to try to get Lawrie, but Nick Castellanos couldn’t handle the bouncing throw.
Eric Sogard followed with a grounder to second, but after moving to his left to field the ball, Ian Kinsler passed up an easy out at first and threw home instead — but the runner was holding at third.
That fielder’s choice loaded the bases, and Billy Burns singled to make it 3-1, chasing Simon. Then Zobrist connected for his first grand slam since 2011.
The Tigers were swept by the Los Angeles Angels in a four-game series out west, and they’re in third place in the AL Central after winning the division the last four years. Manager Brad Ausmus juggled the lineup Tuesday, moving Iglesias to the No. 2 spot and dropping Kinsler to fifth.
Detroit scored three runs in the fourth. With the bases loaded and two out, Graveman threw a two-strike wild pitch to bring home the game’s first run. Castellanos then hit a two-run single.
Athletics: RP Eric O’Flaherty (shoulder) was reinstated from the DL. … Manager Bob Melvin said LHP Drew Pomeranz (shoulder) should be activated soon.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander (triceps) will make a second rehab start with Triple-A Toledo on Saturday. … C Alex Avila (knee) has resumed baseball activities.
Oakland RHP Sonny Gray (6-2) takes on Detroit RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-6) on Wednesday night.