DETROIT (AP) — Brandon Moss hit a tiebreaking two-run homer off Justin Verlander, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers 6-3 in a game cut short by rain on Tuesday night.
Seth Smith hit a leadoff homer in the sixth, and Oakland had the bases loaded with no one out when the tarp was pulled on the field due to the weather. It was called after an 80-minute delay.
Oakland starter Tommy Milone (10-9) allowed three runs in the first, and then pitched four scoreless innings for the complete game. The left-hander improved to 2-2 with a 4.97 ERA in his last six starts.
Detroit dropped its second straight game, but the biggest concern was another sluggish outing for Verlander (12-10), who was charged with four runs, three earned, and four hits in five innings.
The right-hander, who won the AL Cy Young Award and MVP honor in 2011, is 0-2 with a 5.00 ERA in his last four starts.
Verlander and Milone each got off to a slow start, combined for 78 pitches during a rocky first inning.
Oakland pushed across two runs before Verlander recorded an out. Coco Crisp had a leadoff walked and Josh Donaldson singled. The runners moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Jed Lowrie’s bloop double to right.
Seth Smith had a two-out walk before Verlander finally got out of the inning when Alberto Callaspo flied out. The 44 pitches for Verlander were the most he had ever thrown in an inning.
The game was tied before Milone got an out. With a steady rain beginning to fall, Detroit’s first four batters reached. Prince Fielder had a two-run single, and Miguel Cabrera came home when Omar Infante’s routine grounder to second went under Callaspo’s glove for an error.
Verlander ran into more trouble when Moss walked with two out in the third and hustled around to score on Yoenis Cespedes’ tying double down the left-field line on an 0-2 pitch.
The Athletics struck again with two out in the fifth. Moss hit a drive to center for his 22nd homer.
Bruce Rondon replaced Verlander in the sixth, and Smith hit his second pitch over the scoreboard in right-center for a 6-3 lead. The next three batters reached on two singles and a walk, but then the rain became too heavy for play to continue.
Rondon had been checked by trainer Kevin Rand earlier in the inning, and appeared to be favoring his right leg as he came off the field.
NOTES: The Tigers activated C Alex Avila from the concussion disabled list and optioned C Bryan Holaday to Triple-A Toledo. … Detroit had been hoping to get reliever Octavio Dotel (elbow) back by Sept. 1, but he had to leave Tuesday’s rehab outing with Toledo after being hit by a comebacker from the first batter he faced. … Oakland manager Bob Melvin confirmed Bartolo Colon (groin) will start Thursday afternoon against Detroit. Brett Anderson (foot) is also close to returning from the disabled list, but will go to the bullpen when he is activated.