Detroit, MI – Brandon Moss and Seth Smith homered and the Oakland Athletics knocked Justin Verlander out of the game early to beat the Detroit Tigers, 6-3, in a rain-shortened contest at Comerica Park.
Moss delivered a tie-breaking two-run homer in the fifth off Verlander. Smith's solo shot came off Bruce Rondon in the sixth. The A's had the bases loaded with nobody out later in the inning when the rain intensified and the contest was called after a delay of 80 minutes.
Tommy Milone (10-9) went the distance for the A's, who have taken the first two contests of this four-game series.
Verlander (12-10), who gave up four hits and was charged with five runs -- three earned -- has a four-start winless stretch.
"I don't feel fatigued. At my age it's not I'm dropping velocity," the 30- year-old Verlander said. "I think it's more of a mechanical thing than anything."
Prince Fielder had a two-run single for the AL Central leaders.
Verlander threw 44 pitches in the first inning, during which he gave up a two- run double to Jed Lowrie. The bloop hit down the right field line scored Coco Crisp and Josh Donaldson. It was an erratic inning for the 2011 Cy Young Award winner. He walked two batters and uncorked a wild pitch, but limited the damage thanks to retiring Callaspo on a fly ball to left field.
The 44 pitches Verlander threw were the most in any one inning of his career.
"We were really patient and made him work," A's manager Bob Melvin said.
Milone also labored through the 45-minute opening inning by throwing 34 pitches. One of those was a two-run single to right-center from Fielder after the Tigers loaded the bases with nobody out. After a double play grounder from Victor Martinez, the A's were poised to end the inning, but Omar Infante's grounder went under the glove of a charging Alberto Callaspo and into right field for a 3-2 margin.
In the third, Yoenis Cespedes smacked an RBI double to left field to plate Moss, who walked with two outs.
The A's went ahead in the fifth inning. Oakland's first runner on base in the frame came courtesy of an error on Infante. With one out, Moss belted his team-leading 22nd homer of the year, a shot to left field for a 5-3 lead.
Rondon relieved Verlander, and Smith led off the sixth with a blast over the wall in right field.
Prior to the game, the Tigers activated catcher Alex Avila from the 15-day disabled list. He had been out since Aug. 11 due to a concussion. The Tigers made room for Avila by optioning catcher Bryan Holaday to Triple-A Toledo ... Callaspo has a 12-game hitting streak against Detroit dating back to last year.