Tigers' streak ends, reduce magic number to one

Detroit's 12-game winning streak is history, but the Tigers have clinched at least a tie for the AL Central title and could lock up their first division championship since 1987 this weekend in the Bay Area.

Brandon McCarthy pitched seven strong innings and the Athletics got homers from three different players off Max Scherzer in a 6-1 victory over the Tigers in the opener of a four-game series.

Cleveland's loss at Texas Thursday night secured the Tigers at least a tie for the AL Central crown. Detroit can secure its first playoff berth since 2006 and just its second since 1987 Friday night with either a win or a Cleveland defeat at Minnesota.

Detroit's 12-game run was the longest for the team since 14-game surge in 1934, but David DeJesus clubbed a three-run homer, while Kurt Suzuki and Cliff Pennington added solo shots Thursday night.

McCarthy (9-8) scattered five hits, gave up a run and had eight strikeouts, as the A's snapped a two-game skid.

"I thought he was better as he went along," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I didn't think his command was as good early on, but got better and better. His best inning was his seventh, his last inning. He fought through a little bit of command issues during the game, some against a really good lineup and ended up pitching a great game."

Scherzer (14-9) was charged with seven hits and five runs over five frames. He also fanned eight, but the Tigers lost for just the fifth time in their last 27 contests.

"He was just a little inconsistent with his command," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "The quality of strikes, I think that's been a little bit of the problem. He'll get it ironed out."

The Tigers losing Thursday night wasn't all that bad for Leyland. It turns out he had been wearing the same underwear for a while during the winning streak as part of a superstition, but now that it's over it's a relief to him.

"This is kind of one of those good news, bad news," the manager said. "Bad news we lost, good news I can change my underwear after 12 days. It'll be wonderful. It'll be a celebration."

With Pennington and Josh Willingham on base in the first inning, DeJesus hit a two-out homer to right field.

Suzuki homered to left-center leading off the second before Delmon Young gave Detroit it's lone run with a homer with one out in the third.

Pennington's home run caromed off the top of the wall in right-center leading off the fifth.

Coco Crisp doubled in Brandon Allen in the eighth.

Game Notes

Oakland leads the season series, 4-3...Crisp hadn't played since Friday due to an ankle injury...Eight of the nine home runs McCarthy has allowed have been solo shots.