Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Yoenis Cespedes burned his old club with a three-run home run as the Detroit Tigers took Wednesday's rubber game with a 3-2 win over the Oakland Athletics.
Cespedes started his major league career in 2012 with Oakland, and he spent the first 2 1/2 seasons of his career in the A's outfield, hitting 66 home runs in 365 games before last July's trade to Boston. His three-run shot off Dan Otero provided just enough offense for the Tigers.
Otero (2-3) was in relief of starter Scott Kazmir, who struck out four and walked three in three hitless innings before exiting with tightness in his left shoulder.
Kyle Ryan (1-0) was expected to get the start for Detroit after Alfredo Simon was placed on the bereavement list, but he could not get to the ballpark in time. Alex Wilson threw three hitless innings in his first major league start before ceding to Ryan, who allowed a run on three hits and three walks in three-plus innings.
"Having myself out there or a guy who's capable of starting, relieving, going extra innings or facing one guy, I think it's a good thing to have," said Wilson.
After a 1-2-3 first, Kazmir struggled through the next two innings before ultimately exiting with just 47 pitches. In his first inning, Otero put two runners on with one out, but he helped himself by picking Cespedes off second base.
Ryan was finally ready to pitch the fourth inning, and he got out of a jam when Ian Kinsler started an inning-ending double play by knocking the ball down behind second base and flipping it to Dixon Machado with his glove.
In the fifth, Oakland recorded a double play when Rajai Davis struck out before Anthony Gose was caught stealing second on a delayed steal attempt. That proved fortunate when Kinsler followed with a two-out double. After Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked, Cespedes lined his sixth home run to left field to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
"Every time we play the Tigers, we don't let Miguel Cabrera beat us," said A's manager Bob Melvin.
After missing nearly two months due to a shoulder injury, A's closer Sean Doolittle made his 2015 debut in the sixth. He allowed Machado's first major league hit but finished with a scoreless inning.
The A's finally got on the board when Stephen Vogt led off the seventh with a stand-up triple and scored on Mark Canha's sacrifice fly to left.
An inning later, the A's again got a leadoff triple, this time from Marcus Semien. He scored on Eric Sogard's groundout up the middle. Billy Burns then doubled, but Josh Reddick and Ben Zobrist each popped out to strand the runner.
Vogt's leadoff single in the ninth and Canha's walk with one out put the potential tying run in scoring position, but Joakim Soria struck out Brett Lawrie and Semien to end the game.
Oakland has not won a home series this season ... Kazmir made his 250th major league start... Cabrera lost a 13-game hitting streak by going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts ... Each team resumes play Thursday with the A's hosting the Yankees for four games and the Tigers visiting the Angels for a four-game set.