OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics hardly resembled the same team that pounded the Detroit Tigers the two previous days.
With only four regulars in the lineup, how could they? Especially with Tigers ace Justin Verlander making things even more difficult.
Verlander struck out eight to win his fourth straight decision despite leaving after seven innings with a bleeding callus on this thumb, and the Tigers beat the ailing A’s 3-1 Sunday to salvage a series split.
“He looked good. He mixed it up. He’s an ace for a reason,” said Daric Barton, one of Oakland’s starters who is healthy. “He pitched a great game today. He throws 99 for one thing and pitches well to location. You think one thing and get something else.”
Verlander doesn’t expect the tiny blister near the knuckle of his thumb to affect him, other than being an annoyance. He might try using more moisturizer between starts to keep the area from drying out.
Miguel Cabrera hit a pair of RBI singles and Austin Jackson drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth to put Detroit ahead, helping Verlander (4-1) win his 13th straight road decision dating to July 10.
Verlander easily worked through Oakland’s order for the first time, tossing three perfect innings on 42 pitches.
Rangers 13, Angeles 6: Nelson Cruz hit his third career grand slam, Josh Hamilton drove in three runs and the Texas Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels to hand Jered Weaver his first loss.
The slam by Cruz capped a five-run third for the Rangers. Hamilton chased Weaver an inning later with a two-run double that made it 8-2.
Weaver (5-1), in his second start since throwing a no-hitter, gave up 10 hits and eight runs in only 3 1/3 innings, his shortest outing since 2009.
Neftali Feliz (3-1), the closer-turned-starter for Texas, struck out five while allowing two runs over six innings.
Elvis Andrus matched a career high with four hits for Texas, which took two of three from the Angels.
Royals 9, White Sox 1: Philip Humber snapped out of his post-perfect game slump. This time, the rest of the Chicago White Sox let him down.
Humber pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning, but the bullpen struggled and the lineup left 10 runners on base in a 9-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
Rays 9, Orioles 8: The Baltimore Orioles were already assured a series victory and sole possession of first place, so no one would have blamed them if they coasted to the finish after falling behind Tampa Bay by six runs.
Instead, Baltimore mounted a comeback bid that finally ended with the winning run at second base in the ninth inning.
Red Sox 12, Indians 1: Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered during a six-run seventh inning and drove in five runs and the suddenly successful Boston Red Sox routed the Cleveland Indians.
Rookie Will Middlebrooks hit his fourth homer for the Red Sox, who have rebounded from a 1-8 skid with three straight wins.
Daniel Bard (3-4) survived some early control problems and held the Indians to one run despite walking four and allowing six hits over six innings.
Justin Masterson (1-3) also had control issues, falling behind 4-0 while facing all nine Boston batters in the first inning. He lasted six innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and hit three batters.
In other games it was: Seattle 6, NY Yankees 2; Minnesota 4, Toronto 3. — Agencies