Hunter leads Tigers in sweep of Athletics

Detroit, MI ( - Torii Hunter went 3-for-4 with three RBI to lead the Detroit Tigers to a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 9-3 rout on Wednesday.

Austin Jackson, who was mired in an 0-for-15 slump entering the game, also collected three hits with two runs and an RBI, and Miguel Cabrera knocked in a pair for Detroit, which has won 11 of its last 13.

Detroit starter Justin Verlander earned the win in his first July start, something he couldn't do in five June outings. The right-hander went 0-3 with a 6.82 ERA over five starts in June, but quickly made amends on Wednesday.

Verlander (7-7) went six innings and allowed just two runs on nine hits with four strikeouts. He didn't allow a walk for the first time all season.

Brandon Moss went 4-for-4 and came a triple shy of the cycle, knocking in two runs for the A's, who concluded an eight-game road trip with three straight losses following four straight wins.

Coco Crisp also homered in the setback.

Jesse Chavez (6-5) was touched up for five runs on eight hits and four walks over five-plus innings.

Crisp drove a 2-1 offering over the wall in right to lead the game off with a home run and give the A's a 1-0 lead. Moss delivered a solo shot of his own three batters later to give Chavez an early cushion.

It was just the second time in Verlander's career that he allowed two home runs in the first inning, with the other coming on April 13, 2006 vs. the Chicago White Sox.

"It's obviously not the way you want to start the game, but you have to turn the page," Verlander said. "We have one of the best lineups in baseball and you never feel like you're out of a ball game."

Verlander certainly turned the page and let his offense go to work from there.

Detroit cut the deficit in half with an RBI single from Hunter in the home first. Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez singled around a Cabrera flyout, then Hunter poked a single through the hole on the left side that scored Kinsler.

With two outs and runners on the corners in the home third, Hunter slapped a single through the right side that scored Jackson, who doubled to begin the frame, for a 2-2 tie.

Andrew Romine concluded a 10-pitch at-bat with a single up the middle with one out in the fourth. He advanced to second on a groundout from Rajai Davis and Jackson served a single into center that gave the Tigers a 3-2 lead.

Moss doubled into the right-center field gap to lead off the sixth, and the Athletics loaded the bases later in the frame, but Nick Punto flied out softly to right as Verlander escaped the jam.

The Tigers poured it on in the home half of the sixth with a six-run inning. Nick Castellanos and Alex Avila walked to begin the frame which spelled the end to Chavez's day. Romine put both runners in scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, then Davis ripped a two-run single into center.

"We kept the inning going," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of the sixth. "Even after we went with the sacrifice, the hits kept coming."

Jackson sent a single into right in the following at-bat that put runners at the corners before Kinsler legged out an infield single that scored Davis.

Cabrera followed by pulling a double down the line in left to increase the margin to 8-2, and Hunter capped the scoring with his third hit and RBI of the day, a single to left.

"Not only is it frustrating, but I've been down that path before," Chavez said of his outing. "I think it's annoying when you give up two-out hits and you're one out away from a clean inning and getting your lineup back in the dugout."

Crisp, who went 3-for-4, singled off Al Alburquerque to begin the seventh and later scored when Moss singled to center.

Blaine Hardy and Joe Nathan each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to finish off the sweep.

Game Notes

Detroit's pitching staff allowed just one walk in the series ... Moss' homer was his 19th of the season ... Cabrera hit his 30th double ... The Tigers went 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position, while Oakland went 3-for-8 in those instances.