OAKLAND, Calif. — Miguel Cabrera hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fifth to back Rick Porcello's eighth victory, and the Tigers beat the Athletics 5-4 on Thursday to split the four-game series between division leaders.
Porcello overcame a career-high six walks, three shy of his season total coming into Thursday. Joe Nathan earned his 13th save after allowing Josh Donaldson's leadoff double, an RBI infield single by Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick's run-scoring double.
"It's no secret I was all over the place," Porcello said. "I was fortunate to get out of some of the innings."
Victor Martinez doubled home two runs in the seventh and Cabrera also had an RBI groundout for the Tigers, who head to Seattle for the weekend then return home.
Nick Punto hit a two-run homer in the fourth for Oakland, which wasted chances throughout the game.
Porcello moved into second in the AL for wins behind Toronto's Mark Buehrle.
Oakland's Jim Johnson — the 2013 AL saves leader — was booed after allowing two runs in the seventh.
"What am I supposed to do?" he said. "I don't know what to tell you. Balls are finding holes. I'm throwing pretty good pitches, I just feel like I'm in a little bit of bad luck. I don't think it's as bad as it really seems. I think everybody else thinks that way."