DETROIT (AP) — Frankie Montas will have to wait to get his first major league complete game. That was about the only downside to his performance Friday night.
Montas pitched two-run ball into the ninth inning and the Oakland Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers for the 14th straight meeting with a 7-2 victory.
“Frankie begged me to let him pitch the ninth, and he deserved to get a chance,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “They only had two hits and he was under 100 pitches, so I told him I’d give him a shot on a short leash.”
Montas (5-2) pitched a career-best 8 2/3 innings, allowing four hits while striking out a career-high ten. Lou Trivino relieved and got the final out after Montas allowed an RBI double to Miguel Cabrera.
“I wanted to finish the game, but I am very happy with how I pitched tonight,” he said. “I just have to get one more out next time.”
Montas had struck out seven batters on three occasions, including his last start, but overpowered the Tigers with movement and velocity. His fastball reached 98 mph to go along with a splitter and slider.
“He threw the ball great,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We hit a few balls right at people, but he pretty much shut us down. He’s got a variety of pitches with that little splitter, his slider and the fastball.”
Chad Pinder and Mark Canha — the sixth and eighth hitters in the lineup — homered for the A’s, and Khris Davis had three hits.
“It feels great to contribute to a win, especially at the bottom of the order,” Pinder said. “I think we’re starting to build some momentum.”
Oakland’s winning streak against Detroit is tied for the fifth-longest in franchise history, two short of a 16-game streak over the New York Yankees in 1989-91.
Daniel Norris (2-2) allowed six runs, seven hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings.
Detroit has lost the first five games of a 10-game homestand and been outscored 48-11 in the process.
“My objective was to give us a chance to win and stop the bleeding,” Norris said. “We have to find a way to win and not let these five games define our season.”
The Tigers didn’t get a baserunner until Cabrera’s leadoff double in the fifth.
“We have a team picture tomorrow, so we’re still alive,” Gardenhire said. “We’ll see how it goes, but I hope we’ll be smiling.”
The A’s took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Matt Chapman led off with a single, took second on Stephen Piscotty’s base hit and moved up on Davis’s fly ball to right. Oakland took advantage of Detroit’s struggles turning double plays, as Matt Olson beat out shortstop Gordon Beckham’s relay throw to get an RBI.
Canha made it 3-0 with a two-run homer in the fifth, but Josh Harrison’s RBI double pulled the Tigers within two in the bottom of the inning.
The A’s added three more runs in the sixth. Davis singled with one out in the sixth and scored when Olson’s base hit to center skipped past JaCoby Jones for a two-base error. Pinder followed with a homer into the shrubbery beyond the center to make it 6-1.
Davis added an RBI single off Sandy Baez in the eighth.
Cabrera’s ninth-inning double tied him with Lou Gehrig for 63rd place with 2,721 career hits.
“When he starts matching guys like Lou Gehrig, it tells you a little about his career,” Gardenhire said.
Athletics: RHP Jharel Cotton, who has been out since having Tommy John surgery in March 2018, was scheduled to start Friday night for Class A Stockton.
Tigers: 1B Niko Goodrum was a late scratch with flu-like symptoms. Beckham took his spot in the lineup, playing shortstop, while Ronny Rodríguez moved to first. … Cabrera was the DH for the second straight day. He left Tuesday’s game early with knee stiffness, then sat out Wednesday against Justin Verlander and the Astros.
THE LOSING CONTINUES
Detroit’s 14-game skid against the A’s is its longest against one team since dropping 14 straight to the Los Angeles Angels in 2002-03.
The teams play the third of four games Saturday. Daniel Mengden (0-1, 6.75) starts for Oakland against Tigers lefty Matt Boyd (4-3, 3.15).
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