DETROIT -- If you spent a single minute watching replays of Monday's silly non-brawl between A's reliever Grant Balfour and Tigers batter Victor Martinez ... well, that's your problem.
Consider it a wasted minute, if mildly entertaining. The kerfuffle had no effect on the result. Although you might have had fun reading the lips of Balfour as he, according to teammate Josh Reddick, uttered language that was "not very age-appropriate."
You know what was the real story Monday? The A's batters were very, very, very Detroit-appropriate.
Consider: In their 6-3 victory, the A's outhit the best-hitting team in the American League, in its home ballpark. The A's banged out 10 hits -- including three home runs -- to the Tigers' seven hits, six of which were singles.
And this was no one-day fluke. During the A's last visit here to Comerica Park, in August, they scored 34 runs in a four-game series, winning three of those four games and losing the other only when Balfour had a rare blown save.
The A's obviously love hitting at Comerica Park, pure and simple.
Probably because it's nothing like hitting at O.co Coliseum.
"I feel like guys are just comfortable here," A's third baseman Josh Donaldson said. "Playing in the Coliseum all the time ... it's such a sense of relief when you go somewhere else -- with hitting, I mean."
He was being specifically cautious in addressing the topic. The A's players love the Coliseum atmosphere in terms of their screaming Let's-Go-Oakland tribe and the ballpark's quirky playing conditions and the fact that opponents generally hate visiting the antiquated facility.
However, the Coliseum is what you might call not batter-friendly. It is not even batter-mildly-courteous. Especially after sundown.
"I was watching the Raiders game last night on television, and I noticed how it was darker than the other football games I normally watch," Donaldson said. "I didn't notice that when I've been playing in the Coliseum. But I noticed it while watching that Raider game. It's our place -- but it's a tough place to hit."
Derek Norris, the A's catcher, had similar thoughts about the O.co climatology.
"You've got the marine layer out there, and in night games, it's damp and can get dark," said Norris. "Here today, we had a day game, overcast with the sun not shining directly but pretty bright, and the air was clear with the wind blowing to left field ... it's just the conditions."
Comerica conditions, by contrast, are a slice of heaven. You could sense that things Monday would go well for the A's hitters when Coco Crisp led off with a double to right-center field against the American League's ERA leader, Anibal Sanchez.
That was the beginning of a three-hit game for Crisp -- and a setup for home runs by Reddick, Brandon Moss and Seth Smith.
Moss' homer was especially timely, because it came after the Tigers had tied the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning and woke up the home crowd for the first time all day. Moss promptly answered by smashing a Sanchez changeup through a stiff breeze over the right-field wall and silencing the noise.
"That's a huge swing in momentum for us," A's manager Bob Melvin confirmed. "At the time, it felt like it was more than just a solo home run. So big of a swing for us -- and then we continued to swing the bat well after that."
Reddick was not certain why the A's have clobbered the ball so magnificently in Detroit this season. But those 34 runs during that series victory in August led Tigers manager Jim Leyland to vaguely imply that the A's might be stealing signs, an implication denied by everyone in an Oakland uniform.
"We don't know what it is," Reddick said. "If it's something in the water here, we've got to keep drinking the water. If it's something in the air ... well, you've got to breathe, so you've got to take it all in."
Some of the A's win-loss success is due to their pitching, of course. The Tigers finished first in the American League with a .283 batting average during the season but are hitting just .219 over the three games in this series. Can that continue? The A's have two opportunities to close out the Tigers, beginning with Game 4 here Tuesday. A worst-case scenario would be a Game 5 on Thursday.
"But you don't want to settle for that," Donaldson said. "We want to get our business done here tomorrow. If it goes to a Game 5, they have a pretty good guy throwing for them."
That would be Max Scherzer, the presumptive Cy Young Award winner of the American League. And, gulp, that Game 5 would be played in Oakland at the Coliseum, probably in the early evening for a marine-layer special.
"If we get to a Game 5, we get to a Game 5," said Moss. "But that's a terrible way to look at it -- that we've got two games to win one game? This team we're playing against is too good. You can't give them any momentum."
No question that the momentum belongs to the A's, who have one more round of swings coming in their favorite Comerica neighborhood, against the Tigers' fourth starter, Doug Fister. If you could transplant the A's wild home crowds here for Tuesday's game, the A's might win by five touchdowns.