OAKLAND, Calif. — Seth Smith hit a tying two-run double off Tigers closer Jose Valverde in the ninth inning and Coco Crisp capped the Athletics' most dramatic comeback yet with an RBI single as Oakland staved off elimination for a second straight night with a 4-3 victory in Game 4 of the AL Division Series, which ended early this morning.
The A's rode 14 walkoff wins in the regular season to an improbable AL West title. No. 15 set up a win-or-go-home Game 5 against Justin Verlander and Detroit.
Josh Reddick started the rally with a single just under the glove of diving second baseman Omar Infante. Josh Donaldson followed with a double off the wall in left-center and both runners scored on Smith's double. Two outs later, Crisp lined a single to right and Smith scored easily when Avisail Garcia couldn't handle the ball.
"We're not giving up,'' Crisp said. "The guys are fantastic. We've been doing this all year.''
Playing before a sellout, yellow towel-waving Coliseum crowd, Yoenis Cespedes hit a first-inning single against Tigers 16-game winner Max Scherzer. Scherzer retired the next 12 batters, and eventually left in the sixth.
Right-hander A.J. Griffin became the third rookie A's pitcher to start a game this series after Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone, the first time it has happened in major-league history in a single postseason.
Griffin is the fifth rookie in Oakland history to make a postseason start.