A's down Tigers in extras to keep winning streak alive

Josh Donaldson kept the Athletics' winning streak alive with an opposite-field solo home run in the 12th inning to give Oakland a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

Ramon Santiago missed a home run by less than a foot in the top of the 12th, as his two-out line drive landed just under the yellow line on the extended scoreboard atop the left-field wall. Santiago legged out a triple for his effort, but Chris Resop (1-0) relieved Jerry Blevins and retired Austin Jackson on a routine flyout to center to strand him on third.

Brayan Villarreal (0-2) took the mound in the bottom half and struck out Chris Young before Donaldson took his 95 m.p.h. fastball over the wall in right field to send the A's to their ninth consecutive victory.

"It's nice just to help the team win," Donaldson said. "It was great to go out there and get a (win) tonight."

It's just the third time in Oakland history the A's have started the year with at least a 9-2 record.

Prince Fielder provided Detroit's offense with a three-run homer.

The teams are meeting for the first time since the Tigers ousted the A's in the ALDS last season, winning Game 5 in Oakland en route to a World Series appearance.

Oakland starter Bartolo Colon, who has not beaten the Tigers in 10 years, made a costly mistake to Fielder in the third inning when he caught too much of the plate on a 1-2 fastball. Fielder launched the offering over the center field wall for a homer after Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks had singled in front of the blast.

Colon was otherwise solid over his seven innings of work and was charged with eight hits and three runs while striking out five and not issuing a walk.

His counterpart, Max Scherzer, struck out 11 over six innings and wound up with a no-decision despite giving up just two runs and five hits.

"We were hitting some balls hard at people and that just happens," Scherzer said. "That's just the way the game goes sometimes. We played hard tonight, that's what you hang your hat on."

The A's got their first run in their half of the third when Eric Sogard led off with a double, stole third and took home when Scherzer's pickoff throw got away from Miguel Cabrera.

Jed Lowrie doubled leading off the sixth for Oakland and scored when Josh Reddick singled through the right side of the infield. Scherzer settled down and struck out the side but was pulled before the next inning having thrown 100 pitches.

Drew Smyly gave up the tying run in the seventh, as Donaldson doubled with one away and raced home on Coco Crisp's two-out single to left.

Game Notes

The A's were also 9-2 in 1990 and won their first 11 games in 1981 ... The A's recorded eight hits after matching the club record of eight straight games with at least 10 hits ... Before the game, Reddick was given the Gold Glove he won last season ... Lowrie has reached base safely in all 11 games ... Colon had been 0-7 with a 7.67 ERA in 12 games -- 11 starts -- against the Tigers after beating them on Apr. 13, 2003 ... Fielder had four of Detroit's 12 hits ... The second game of this three-game series features each club's respective Opening Day starters, as Justin Verlander toes the rubber for Detroit opposite Brett Anderson ... Game time: 4:04.