Brandon Moss made a slight adjustment in his swing recently and he’s feeling better at the plate than he has all season.
Moss homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs in the Oakland Athletics’ 14-4 rout of the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.
”A couple of weeks ago, I was taking BP (batting practice) and found something that’s been hindering me the whole season,” he said. ”I made the adjustment and I’m been feeling pretty good.”
In his past six games, Moss is 9 for 20 (.450) with four home runs and 10 RBIs.
”He’s hot right now,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. ”And the thing is getting two home runs off of two left-handers (Jose Alvarez and Drew Smyly) … He’s seeing the ball pretty well right now.”
Three of Moss’ home runs have come in his past two games for Oakland, which had a season-high 21 hits and has won the first three games of the four-game series by a combined 28-13.
They beat Doug Fister in Wednesday night’s game, after besting Anibal Sanchez and Justin Verlander in the first two games.
Josh Donaldson had three hits and drove in two runs and Eric Sogard had two RBIs for the Athletics.
Torii Hunter homered for the AL Central-leading Tigers. Hunter and Victor Martinez each had three hits.
”We got beat down real bad. It was an ugly game,” Hunter said. ”… It’s like they knew what was coming. Those guys were swinging the bats really well against us the last couple of days. Way too comfortable. That’s the way it goes sometimes. When you’re hot, you’re feeling good. When a team is hot, that’s what it looks like.”
Oakland starter Daniel Straily (7-7) got his first win since July 9. He allowed a run and eight hits over six innings, walking two and striking out four.
”Just making pitches when I had to,” Straily said. ”Obviously, you’re trying to make that pitch all the time. But with a runner on third base and two out, you can’t let that run score.”
Straily had been 0-5 with a 5.20 ERA in his past seven starts, since being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. He went down to the minor league club in late June.
Left-hander Brett Anderson relieved Straily to start the seventh and pitched the last three innings for his first major league save.
It was the usual starter’s first appearance since April 29, after being sidelined with a stress fracture to his right foot. He was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list earlier on Wednesday.
He allowed three runs and five hits and struck out a batter.
”It was good,” Anderson said. ”All things considered, I’ll probably never feel better about giving up three runs. I got 0-2 on a lot of hitters and I threw strikes better than in my rehab starts.”
Melvin said it was a perfect opportunity to begin to stretch Anderson out to the point where he might be able to make a start in the near future.
Tigers starter Doug Fister (11-7) took the loss. He gave up seven runs and 13 hits in five innings.
”It looks like Oakland was sitting in on our pitchers’ meeting. I guess I’d start out with that,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.
”Then, I’d say that they hit some soft that fell, they hit some hard that fell, they hit some short that fell, and they hit some real long that eventually landed.”
Fister was followed to the mound by Alvarez, who allowed five runs and five hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Smyly and Jeremy Bonderman finished the game.
Oakland used five consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly for three runs in the second to take the lead. Sogard and Kurt Suzuki had run-scoring singles and Donaldson hit a sacrifice fly.
Hunter put Detroit on the board and made it 3-1 with his 15th homer in the third. With one out, Hunter hammered Straily’s 1-1 pitch into the left-field stands.
The Athletics then added four more runs in the top of the fifth for a 7-1 lead. Moss drove in the first run with a double and Yoenis Cespedes, Alberto Callaspo and Sogard produced RBI singles.
Oakland added three more in the sixth on Jed Lowrie’s run-scoring double and Moss’ two-run homer off Alvarez.
Donaldson singled in a run in the eighth and Moss added a three-run homer, which came off Smyly. It was his 24th homer of the season.
Detroit got three in the eighth on Andy Dirks’ RBI single and Alex Avila’s two-run double.
Note: Detroit said that star pitcher Justin Verlander has committed $1 million to launch an initiative with the Detroit Tigers Foundation to support mental health efforts of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families in the Detroit area as well as his home area of Richmond and Norfolk, Va. … In winning the first three games of the series, Oakland roughed Sanchez, Verlander and Fister for a combined 16 runs (14 earned) and 22 hits in 15 innings. .. The Tigers optioned Alvarez to Triple-A Toledo and recalled right-hander Luke Putkonen . … Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer (19-1, 2.73) will go for his 20th win in Thursday afternoon’s series finale. He will face Bartolo Colon (14-5, 2.97), who will be returning from the disabled list, where he was recovering from a strained left groin.