DETROIT -- The A's shut down the big boppers in the middle of Detroit's lineup Saturday.
The bottom third of the Tigers' batting order did more than enough damage to saddle the A's with a 3-1 loss in Game 1 of the American League Divisional Series at Comerica Park.
No. 9 hitter Omar Infante doubled to spark the go-ahead rally in the third, coming around to score when A's starter Jarrod Parker made a fielding error on Quintin Berry's infield single. Alex Avila, the Tigers' eighth hitter, went the opposite way with a homer off Parker in the fifth to extend Detroit's lead to 3-1.
Meanwhile, the A's held Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder -- the Tigers' 3-4 hitters -- to a combined 0-for-7 evening. Based on that, it seemed the A's might be in good shape.
"Them two aren't the only guys that have produced all year," A's catcher Derek Norris said. "Obviously you don't want their two superstars to end up with the headlines. But when it came down to it, they came up clutch and sometimes it just happens."
Parker gave Detroit's lower hitters credit.
"Their bottom of the order applied some pressure and did what they were supposed to do," he said. "I don't think anybody in the big leagues is an easy out."
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he knew the A's had four lefties in their bullpen to stack up against the left-handed hitting Fielder in the late innings, so it was important for Detroit
"It wasn't like we just blistered them all around," Leyland said. "I thought Parker was very good. But if you're going to win, there's usually some reasons. We did a lot of good things."
Yoenis Cespedes lined a one-out single to left, which brought up Brandon Moss. Moss hit a long, high fly to right that appeared as if it might leave the park for a game-tying home run. But the ball died at the warning track, and right fielder Andy Dirks caught it at the wall.
"This is a big yard," Moss said. "I was hoping it maybe had a chance, but I also thought (Dirks) had a chance to rob it. I saw him about to climb the wall, and then he didn't have to."
Moss said Benoit threw him a changeup, and he was waiting for it.
"I saw it and recognized what the pitch was when he threw it," he said. "But I still didn't stay back quite long enough and hit it off the end of the bat. You try to put the best swing on it you can, and it stinks it didn't go out."
Melvin said an issue remains whether Anderson might need more time but added: "I think maybe how (the first) couple games play out, too, might decide that. First and foremost, the thing is his health."
If Anderson pitches Game 3, rookie A.J. Griffin is in line to pitch Game 4 unless the A's bring back Parker on three days' rest.
With Pat Neshek making the roster, it came down to either Pedro Figueroa or Jim Miller as the eighth man in the bullpen.
Figueroa, a hard-throwing lefty with a nasty slider, was the choice. Travis Blackley's presence as a long reliever made Miller expendable.