Detroit, MI, United States (4E Sports) – Brandon Moss and Seth Smith homered to help the Oakland A’s pull away in the fifth en route to a 6-3 win over the Detroit Tigers in Monday’s Game 3 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five AL Division Series at Comerica Park.
Moss broke a 3-3 deadlock with a homer to right while Smith added a two-run shot to double up the Tigers and bring the A’s a step closer to the AL Championship Series.
Jarrod Parker (1-0) allowed three runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout to earn the victory while Grant Balfour sealed the win with a scoreless ninth for his first postseason save.
Josh Reddick also homered while Coco Crisp had three hits for the A’s, who can advance to the next round of the playoffs for the first time since 2006 ALCS with a victory Tuesday.
Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez (0-1) lasted just 4 1/3 frames, giving up six runs – five earned – on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts to absorb the loss.
Historically, teams that go ahead, 2-1, in the Division Series have won it 35 out of 43 times, and nine of the last 10.
Crisp put the A’s on the board when he scored on an error by third baseman Miguel Cabrera in the third.
In the fourth, Reddick hit a solo shot and Crisp added a run-scoring sacrifice fly to make it a 3-0 game.
Parker gave up all three of his runs in the fourth to end the Oakland staff’s 20-inning scoreless streak and erase his three-run lead.
However, Sanchez, who had given up just nine home runs all season, including only four at Comerica Park, allowed two more long balls in the fifth to allow the A’s take a 6-3 advantage.
Dan Otero gave the A’s two scoreless innings and Sean Doolittle pitched a clean eighth inning before Balfour picked up the save.
The A’s will go for the clincher with Dan Straily on the mound against Doug Fister.