Shea Langeliers delivered a three-run, pinch-hit home run, Ken Waldichuk made a successful return to the rotation and the Oakland Athletics snapped an eight-game losing streak with an 8-2 thumping of the visiting Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
Esteury Ruiz chipped in with a two-RBI single in a three-run seventh inning as the A’s (47-107). Oakland exploded for seven runs over a two-inning stretch after having been held to a total of 14 runs in the first seven games of what had been a winless homestand.
After a two-run home run by Carson Kelly, his second of the season, flipped a one-run deficit into a 2-1 Tigers lead in the fifth, the A’s jumped on the Detroit bullpen for four runs in the sixth. The rally was ignited by a leadoff homer from Brent Rooker off Will Vest (2-1). It was Rooker’s 29th long ball of the season.
An error by Tigers shortstop Javier Baez and single by Lawrence Butler set the stage for Langeliers. The pinch hitter greeted Detroit’s third pitcher, Tyler Holton, with his blast to left field that propelled the hosts into a 5-2 lead.
The uprising came immediately after the visitors pulled starter Sawyer Gipson-Long, who left with a 2-1 lead after allowing just four hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out four.
Ruiz’s big hit in the seventh came after Oakland had loaded the bases as Zack Gelof walked, Seth Brown doubled and Rooker was hit by a pitch. Butler followed Ruiz with a sacrifice fly, increasing the Athletics’ advantage to 8-2.
Waldichuk (4-8), who had served as a bulk-innings reliever in his previous two outings, enjoyed one of his best starts of the season, limiting the Tigers to two runs and four hits in six innings. The left-hander struck out seven without issuing a walk.
Rooker scored twice and Ryan Noda had two hits for the A’s, who have beaten the Tigers in three of five meetings this season.
Baez had two doubles and Miguel Cabrera his 17th two-bagger of the season for Detroit (72-82), which was out-hit 9-5.