Coco Crisp may not have the most powerful bat in Oakland's lineup, but he certainly picks good times to go deep.
Crisp will try to lead the Athletics to a second straight win on Tuesday night in the continuation of a four-game series versus Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers.
The 33-year-old outfielder had a string of three straight games with a homer snapped in Sunday's loss to Baltimore, but went deep again last night in the Athletics' 8-6 win. It was the 100th home run of Crisp's career and 10 of his 14 homers this year have put Oakland in the lead.
Crisp's 14 homers are the most he has hit in a season since a career-high 16 in 2005 and he finished a triple shy of the cycle in Monday's series-opening win after collecting three hits. Daric Barton added a pair of RBI singles for Oakland, which had lost four of five coming in.
However, the win kept the A's 2 1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West and two games ahead of the Cleveland Indians for the league's second wild card spot.
"It was a good battle, It felt like a playoff atmosphere almost," said A's starter A.J. Griffin, who allowed four runs over five-plus innings.
Omar Infante and Miguel Cabrera both hit game-tying two-run homers for Detroit, which could not fully comeback and lost for just the third time in nine games. The Tigers are still 5 1/2 games ahead of the Indians for the top spot in the AL Central.
"Coco had a great game, that's kind of the way it went," Tigers outfielder Andy Dirks said. "They got a couple of big hits when they need them. A few choppers up the middle that maybe could have been double play ground balls, but when you have a night where you score eight, you usually get hits like that."
Cabrera hit his third home run in four games and 43rd of the season, three back of Baltimore's Chris Davis for the MLB lead. Cabrera leads all of baseball with 130 RBI and a .359 batting average.
The Tigers will try to draw even in this set behind Verlander, who is 12-9 with a 3.68 earned run average in 27 starts this year, but winless in his last three. Detroit has lost all three of those outings and the right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA.
Verlander did not factor into a 7-6 loss to Minnesota on Thursday, allowing six runs on 10 hits and three walks. He struck out six over seven innings.
The 30-year-old beat Oakland on the road earlier this year, giving up a run on three hits and three walks over six innings back on April 13. Verlander improved to 8-5 lifetime versus the A's with a 2.32 ERA in 14 starts.
Tommy Milone makes just his third start of August for the A's, having been sent down to Triple-A Sacramento a day after giving up six runs over 3 2/3 innings in a loss to Texas on Aug. 2.
The lefty returned to the majors on Aug. 18 to replace an injured Bartolo Colon and did not get a decision in a 7-3 win over Cleveland. Milone yielded three runs -- one earned -- on six hits and a walk in 4 2/3 frames of action.
Milone, 26, is 9-9 with a 4.30 ERA in 23 starts with Oakland this season and 1-0 lifetime versus Detroit with a 3.09 ERA in two meetings.
The Tigers won two of three in Oakland back in April and have won five of the past eight encounters.