The Detroit Tigers beat the Oakland A's 6-0 in game five of their AL Division Series matchup to win the series three games to two.
This game was the story of one man, who took the game ball in a must-win for his team, and turned in one of the best playoff starts in Tigers history. Justin Verlander absolutely dominated the A's on Thursday, throwing a complete game shuout while giving up three singles and a double, one walk, and striking out 11 Oakland batters. His game score was 89, higher than all but one of his starts during the regular season.
Offensively for Detroit, they didn't need much with Verlander spinning his gem. In the third, Austin Jackson doubled home Omar Infante for the Tigers' first run, and Jackson scored on a wild pitch by Jarrod Parker to make it 2-0. Parker kept the A's close through six, but it came unraveled in the seventh. Jhonny Peralta led off with an infield single and stole second before an Alex Avila strikeout. Infante singled once again, and Parker was pulled for Ryan Cook. Cook imploded for the second game in the series, allowing an RBI single to Jackson, walking Quintin Berry, and hitting Miguel Cabrera with the bases loaded to make it 4-0. Jerry Blevins replaced him, and he allowed an RBI single to Prince Fielder to make it 5-0, and a Stephen Drew error made it 6-0. But all of that was just icing on the delicious cake that Verlander was baking on the mound.
Parker pitched his heart out during both of his starts in the series, and he kept the A's in both and gave them a chance to win. On Thursday, he went 6 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out six. Before he came out for the seventh, he was at just two runs on five hits. It was a great series for him, but he just had the displeasure of being matched up with the baddest pitcher in baseball, who took no prisoners in either of his starts in this series.
The A's season is over, but where does this leave the Tigers? Well, game one of the ALCS will be on Saturday, but the Tigers don't know who they're playing or where they're playing yet. For now, they'll go home to Detroit and await the winner of Friday's Orioles-Yankees matchup. If the Orioles win, game one will be in Detroit. If the Yankees win, game one is in New York.
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