DETROIT — Jed Lowrie was ready for Alex Wilson.
“I’ve faced Alex before, and I know he’s got a good cutter,” Lowrie said.
Lowrie hit a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning, and the Oakland Athletics overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Detroit Tigers 9-8 Tuesday night.
“I was able to get on top of it,” Lowrie said. “We ground out a lot of at bats to get back in it, and it ends up as a fun night of baseball.”
The start of the game was delayed 15 minutes after afternoon rain, and the nine innings stretched on for 3 hours, 58 minutes.
“When it isn’t vital to win a game for a pennant race, it takes some of the energy out of the game,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “Both teams battled all night tonight, though.”
Detroit trailed 3-0 in the third inning, then took an 8-4 lead into the seventh, when Ryon Healy hit a bases-loaded grounder to shortstop Jose Iglesias, who bobbled the ball for an error as Lowrie scored.
Joey Wendle, Franklin Barreto and Chad Pinder started the eighth with singles off Wilson (2-5), and Lowrie followed with his third career slam.
Wilson entered with a 3.07 ERA since moving into the setup role after the Tigers traded Justin Wilson to the Chicago Cubs.
“He’s been really good for us all year,” Ausmus said. “The nature of pitching at the back end of the bullpen means that you are going to be in a lot of close games, so when you make a mistake, it probably costs your team the lead.”
Miguel Cabrera singled off Chris Hatcher starting the bottom of the eighth and took third on Nicholas Castellanos’ double. But Jeimer Candelario grounded out and, after an intentional walk, Hatcher struck out James McCann and Mikie Mahtook.
“The key was the ground out,” Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. “Once Hatch got that, we could move the defense back and play for two. That was a great job of pitching.”
Santiago Casilla (4-5) pitched a perfect seventh, and Blake Treinen allowed Alex Presley’s two-out single in the sixth before retiring Andrew Romine on a groundout for his ninth save.
Oakland’s Matt Olson homered for the fifth straight game, tying Matt Stairs (1998), Dave Kingman (1986) and George Alusik (1962) for the second-longest streak in Athletics history behind Frank Thomas’s six in 2006.
“It’s cool, but honestly, I would like to mix in another hit one of these games,” he said.
Olson has 15 home runs in his last 21 games.
“I’m done talking about him,” Melvin said. “I don’t have any more adjectives to use for him. I don’t even know what to say.”
Alex Presley, Castellanos and Ian Kinsler homered for Detroit. Presley’s homer was the 5,693rd of the major league season, tying the record set in 2000. Kansas City’s Alex Gordon then homered at Toronto to break the mark.
Kinsler’s homer was his 20th.
Oakland starter Daniel Gossett allowed six runs, nine hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. Tigers starter Chad Bell gave up three runs, five hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings.
“I was in a great rhythm in the first inning, but I couldn’t keep it going,” Bell said. “I gave up two homers in the second, and then I had some mechanical issues, especially out of the stretch.”
Athletics: RHP Jharel Cotton could make his next scheduled start despite missing Monday’s game after straining a groin muscle during pregame warmups. Cotton was able to play catch on Tuesday without significant discomfort.
Tigers: RHP Jeff Farrell was back with the team, one day after being hit on the head by a 103 mph line drive. Tests showed no fractures, and he is being watched for concussion symptoms.
The teams finish their three-game series Wednesday, with Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez (3-4, 7.03) facing Oakland’s Daniel Mengden (1-1, 4.30). Mengden is coming off a two-hit shutout of Philadelphia Phillies. Sanchez allowed one run in six innings against the Chicago White Sox, striking out 11.
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