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American League Game Summary - Oakland at Detroit
(Tuesday, October 8th)
Final Score: Detroit 8, Oakland 6
Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - A spectator reached over the railing to touch a home run and Max Scherzer reached down to get out of a jam.
The Detroit Tigers tied the American League Division Series, but not without a heavy dose of drama.
The Tigers came from behind twice on Tuesday to beat the Athletics 8-6 and set up a deciding Game 5 in the series back in Oakland.
Victor Martinez hit a game-tying leadoff home run in the seventh inning that was reviewed because a man reached over the railing to touch the ball, and Austin Jackson added an RBI single to cap a two-run rally that gave the Tigers the lead after they trailed 3-0 and 4-3.
Game 1 winner Scherzer, who relieved starter Doug Fister in the seventh, escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the eighth with two strikeouts and a line drive.
"To be able to get out of that jam, I mean, that's something I'll never forget," said Scherzer. "That's something I'm not really asked to do, and tonight I was."
The Tigers added three runs in the bottom of the inning for some insurance.
They needed it.
The A's scored twice and brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning against Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit, but Seth Smith struck out to end the game.
Earlier, Jhonny Peralta hit a three-run homer in fifth to tie the game at 3-3 for the Tigers, who snapped a two-game skid. Scherzer (2-0) gave up a go-ahead run in the seventh but pitched two innings for the win.
Jed Lowrie hit a two-run homer and knocked in Oakland's first three runs as the A's built a 3-0 lead through the first 4 1/2 innings.
Oakland will have another chance to clinch its first ALCS berth since 2006 on Thursday night at home.
Fister threw the first six innings of Game 4 for Detroit and gave up three runs, seven hits and a walk with one strikeout for the reigning AL champions.
Oakland rookie Dan Straily didn't give up a hit through four innings but he allowed Peralta's game-tying three-run homer in the fifth. The 24-year-old right-hander had a 4-3 lead when he came out after six innings. He struck out eight, didn't walk a batter and gave up four hits for the AL West champs.
A's right fielder Josh Reddick tracked back on Martinez's leadoff homer in the seventh, leaping with his glove extended toward the ball. A man wearing a dark blue sweatshirt or jacket with the Tigers' cursive "D" on the front was one of two spectators who reached over the railing in an attempt to catch the ball.
It hit off the man's right wrist, fell to the warning track and was ruled to be a home run. The ball didn't have to clear the railing to be a home run -- just the yellow line at the top of the wall. Following a review, the umpires upheld the ruling.
"It looked like -- and Reddick's reaction was that he thought he could have potentially caught it," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "The explanation was it was over the yellow line and it wasn't fan interference even though I guess a fan touched it."
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he went down to look at the replay himself instead of waiting for the official word and said he was relieved when he saw it because he "knew it was definitely a home run."
Said Martinez: "It definitely felt great. It was a run that we really, really needed. Huge run to come back and tie the game and keep us in the game."
Peralta followed with a double off Sean Doolittle (0-1), Jose Iglesias walked with two outs and Jackson rapped a broken-bat single in front of Reddick to give the Tigers a 5-4 lead.
"I was just happy that it fell," Jackson said of his hit. "Looking over in the dugout and seeing how pumped up they were for me, it just kinda gave me chills a little bit and just happy to get it done in that moment."
Scherzer walked Brandon Moss, gave up a double to Yoenis Cespedes and then intentionally walked Smith to load the bases in the eighth. He struck out Reddick and Stephen Vogt swinging, then ran a full count against Alberto Callaspo before getting the pinch-hitter on a line drive to center field.
The Tigers started a two-out rally against Ryan Cook in the bottom of the eighth. A wild pitch by Brett Anderson with the bases loaded scored a run, and Omar Infante stroked a two-run double to make it 8-4 Detroit.
In the ninth, Coco Crisp singled for his fourth hit and Lowrie walked with one out. The runners moved up on a groundout and scored on Cespedes' single to draw the A's within two runs before Smith struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch.
Prince Fielder sliced a bloop single to left field in the bottom of the fifth for Detroit's first hit and Martinez singled, setting up Peralta to tie the game at 3-3 with a homer to left.
Vogt greeted Scherzer with a single in the seventh, went to second on a bunt and scored on Crisp's single past Scherzer's glove and up the middle to give the A's a 4-3 lead.
Earlier, Crisp hit a leadoff triple on Fister's second pitch of the game and scored on Lowrie's opposite-field single through the left side to give the A's a 1-0 lead. It was Lowrie's first hit of the series. His second was a two-run homer to right in the fifth to make it 3-0.
It was the sixth time in their last nine postseason games the A's started a rookie pitcher ... Fister fared better than the last time he faced the A's on Aug. 28, when he gave up seven runs and 13 hits in five innings of a 14-4 loss. Straily won that game for Oakland ... The Tigers swept the A's in the 2006 ALCS.
10/08 22:49:07 ET