The Tigers caught a bit of nostalgic karma in Oakland late last night, visiting the Bay Area for the first time since clinching the American League Central Pennant last fall.
Whether it was happy memories or the unleashing of a season's worth of frustration, the Tigers caught fire early and held on to beat the A's 10-6, pounding out 17 hits.
The lion's share of the offensive assault ensued in the third inning, and a potent Detroit lineup knocked Oakland starter Bartolo Colon out of the game before the inning was out. Detroit touched up Colon for eight runs on nine hits after having thrown only 44 pitches before departing.
Miguel Cabrera shared in the uncorking of frustration, knocking four hits and raising his average to .285 while pushing three runs across the plate. It was Cabrera's 22nd four-hit game of his career.
Manager Jim Leyland's decision to slot Andy Dirks in the No. 2 spot continues to pay dividends, as Dirks punched Colon for a home run in the first inning and a double in the third. Dirks finished the night with four hits, a walk and two runs scored.
The Tigers scored eight runs on eight hits in the third and scalded the ball to all gaps, showing an aggressiveness at the plate that has been absent all too long.
Detroit starter Max Scherzer showed the type of steadiness he's lacked on the hill over his roller-coaster season, striking out eight with one walk and scattering five hits in 6.1 innings of work.
Scherzer carved up a weak Oakland offense, spotting pitches down in the strike zone throughout the night and controlling the tempo on the mound—a much-needed shot in the arm for a pitcher the Tigers expected to be reliable in their quest for another divisional crown.
Thursday night also marked the first time the Tigers faced former teammate Brandon Inge, who signed with Oakland shortly after being released by the Tigers two weeks ago.
Inge made the Tigers' relief staff pay by smashing his second grand-slam of the week while providing repeated fireworks for the stagnant A's offense similar to the damage he did Tuesday night with a dramatic walk-off grand-slam to down the Blue Jays.
Inge and the A's offense closed a comfortable gap that the Tigers had built through the first seven innings of the game, but the bullpen again made things interesting and allowed Oakland to creep back into the game all on two outs in the eighth. Their efforts still weren't enough for the Bengals' battering offense.
Austin Jackson, Delmon Young, and Alex Avila all chipped in two hits for the Tigers in what was one of their most impressive and long overdue team hitting performances of the season.
It was perhaps a relief for worried Tigers fans as well, Detroit was 13-17 at the 30-game mark last season and won 95 games; they entered last night's game 15-15.
American League managers know all too well the capability of Detroit's offense to repeat Thursday night's performance throughout the season—it's likely what they fear most.
Box stats provided by MLB.com.
Bleacher Report Featured Columnist J. Cook is a member of B/R's MLB Coverage Team and contributes to B/R's MLB content and Detroit Tigers page. He also covers key sport interest stories for all of Detroit's major sports teams.
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