OAKLAND, Calif. (WWJ/AP) – Brad Penny struggled on the mound giving up five runs in five plus innings as the Detroit Tigers lose 5-1 to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.
As heard on 97.1 The Ticket Casper Wells had a solo home run to lead off the sixth but the Tigers couldn’t rally around the big hit. It was Wells’ first home run of the season. The solo shot came on an 0-2 pitch and is only the second allowed by Oakland pitcher Trevor Cahill this year.
Cahill pitched eight solid innings for Oakland, Cahill’s pitching was aided by Josh Willingham – who broke out of a slump with a two-run single in the fifth.
Mark Ellis doubled twice and Daric Barton walked twice and scored both times. The split in the series prevented the Tigers from notching their first four-game series win in Oakland since 1997.
Cahill had a season-high nine strikeouts while scattering four hits. He did not walk a batter for the second time this season.
Cahill (2-0) looked nothing like the pitcher who struggled against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, a day after signing a new $30.5 million, five-year extension with the A’s.
Oakland’s All-Star right-hander had at least one strikeout in each of the first four innings and baffled the Tigers hitters with a steady stream of off-speed pitches and a sinker that had Detroit off balance all afternoon.
Penny matched Cahill early but gave up a run in the fourth on a ball that appeared to be going foul.
Barton walked and took third on Conor Jackson’s single. After a strikeout, Hideki Matsui hit a dribbler that Penny grabbed just as the ball rolled onto the chalk along the first base line. He threw to first for the out but Barton scored to make it 1-0.
Penny (0-2) hurt himself again in the fifth after giving up a leadoff double to backup catcher Landon Powell. Penny retired the next two hitters but hit David DeJesus and walked Barton. Manager Jim Leyland came out to calm Penny but the burly right-hander walked Jackson to force in one run then gave up a two-run single to Willingham.
That continued a troubling trend for Penny, who left after Ellis’ leadoff double in the sixth. Penny allowed only four hits in his first- ever appearance in Oakland but was charged with five runs and now has an 8.44 ERA.
Cahill continued to cruise and was especially tough on Tigers left fielder Ryan Raburn, who struck out three times on his 30th birthday.
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