OAKLAND -- The A's finally ran out of steam Thursday night, and there wasn't enough late-inning magic in the world to compensate for it.
They were silenced 6-0 by the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 of the American League Division Series, with Justin Verlander delivering a performance that showed why he's in the running for his second straight Cy Young Award.
The Tigers ace threw a four-hitter and struck out 11, leading his team to a berth in the A.L. Championship Series against either the Baltimore Orioles or the New York Yankees.
It was a disappointing final chapter for the A's, who were trying to become the sixth team to overcome an 0-2 deficit and win a Division Series.
But players were taking a big-picture view inside the clubhouse afterward, able to reflect on a surprising 94-win season that delivered the American League West championship.
"Words can't explain how happy I am with this ballclub and what we've done this year," A's right fielder Josh Reddick said. "There were a lot of guys that came up and weren't supposed to come up and succeed, and they did that. We've come a long way."
After striking out 11 in beating the A's in Game 1, Verlander outdid that performance with a 122-pitch gem. The A's generated just five base runners and advanced only two as far as second base.
The Tigers ace put Thursday's performance atop his list of career highlights.
"The two no-hitters are obviously up there, but that's
As the Tigers poured onto the field to celebrate, boos were heard from the sellout crowd of 36,393. Soon they turned to loud cheers as A's players emerged from their dugout to acknowledge the fans. A loud "Let's Go Oakland" chant broke out.
And it didn't escape the A's attention that Detroit players made a point of tipping their caps to acknowledge the A's.
"That's probably one of the most professional things I've seen on a baseball field, what the Tigers did for us," A's outfielder Jonny Gomes said.
The A's were arguably the most compelling story of the 2012 season -- only the surprising Orioles could lay claim to the same title.
They simply couldn't generate any offense Thursday against Verlander.
A's rookie Jarrod Parker wasn't bad, going 61/3 innings and giving up seven hits. He was charged with four runs.
Detroit broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the third, aided by two wild pitches from Parker.
No. 9 hitter Omar Infante led off with a single and took second on a wild pitch. Austin Jackson split the gap in left-center with a double to bring him in. Quintin Berry sacrificed Jackson to third,
Other than that, Parker was solid.
It was 2-0 when he left with runners on the corners and one out in the seventh, but Ryan Cook found trouble upon relieving him. Jackson lined a single to right field for his second RBI. After a walk to Berry loaded the bases, Cook hit Miguel Cabrera with an 0-2 pitch to force in a run and make it 4-0.
Jerry Blevins replaced Cook, and Prince Fielder blooped a run-scoring single in front of center fielder Coco Crisp, then Delmon Young lined a ball that shortstop Stephen Drew misplayed on a backhand for an error that brought home another run.
The Tigers surprisingly were active on the bases, going 3 for 3 on stolen base attempts against A's catcher Derek Norris. Norris also struck out twice at the plate.
A's closer Grant Balfour said he was happy with his team's season but couldn't hide his disappointment.