OAKLAND -- While Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline approached Oakland with swirling rumors and endless conjecture, it passed through without much of a whisper.

Entering the final day of July trailing the American League West-leading Los Angeles Angels by 13 games, the A's were active in trade talks but weren't about to sell just to be sellers.

"Nothing I guess worked out where we thought we were bettering the team," A's manager Bob Geren said.

Assistant general manager David Forst said the front office was busy Tuesday morning working on possible deals with teams, but eventually the A's chose to hold on to Joe Blanton, Dan Johnson, Joe Kennedy and Mike Piazza -- all of whom had surfaced in trade gossip over the past few weeks.

"We had a number of deals we were discussing," Forst said. "But through nobody's fault, we just couldn't make a match with anybody."

With nobody packing up their lockers, players took a positive outlook in the seemingly always-loose clubhouse.

"I'll keep plugging away," Piazza said. "I don't sign with a team expecting to be traded. I always considered it a marriage -- for better or for worse."

For at least one night Tuesday, it was for the better.

A four-run sixth-inning rally was the key for the A's as they avoided falling a season-high nine games below .500 with a 7-3 come-from-behind win over the Detroit Tigers.

It was an effort that emphasized that maybe this is a team worth sticking with -- especially looking toward 2008. Rookie catcher Kurt Suzuki delivered a game-tying two-run single, rookie right fielder Travis Buck went 2-for-3 with two RBI, rapidly growing fan favorite Jack Cust drove in two with a go-ahead double, and staff ace Dan Haren worked six innings to pick up his 13th win of the season.

"It's a good team. We're better than our record," said Haren, who gave up six hits and two earned runs in improving to 13-3. "It's hard right now. We maybe put ourselves in a hole that's too big to get out of, but nobody here wants to fail."

On Tuesday, the A's didn't just beat Detroit -- who had won the last six meetings between the teams when counting last year's AL Championship Series -- but they beat young fireballer Justin Verlander.

Trailing 3-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the A's began their comeback against the 24-year-old AL All-Star when Mark Kotsay led off the inning by reaching on an error by Tigers' shortstop Carlos Guillen. Marco Scutaro followed with a single, and both runners advanced on a long fly out by Donnie Murphy.

Suzuki, who entered the game batting .160 and just 6-for-33 since becoming the everyday catcher upon the July 16 trade of Jason Kendall, connected on the first pitch he saw and drove it into left for a two-run single.

That hit ended the night for Verlander (11-4) who lasted just 5-1/3 innings and allowed four runs (three earned).

"Verlander is like a Dan Haren, one of the best in the league," Geren said. "It's nice to beat somebody like that. It was a good game."

Buck continued the rally with a single up the middle off reliever Macay McBride, Nick Swisher walked, and Cust put the A's ahead for good with a double down the right-field line for a 5-3 lead.

The A's pushed the lead to 7-3 with two more unearned runs in the seventh, once again highlighted by an RBI hit from Suzuki.

"I feel good about tonight," Forst said when asked how he felt about the group of players they have heading into August. "You were able to see in this game what we're capable of when healthy. I'm happy with guys that are here and optimistic about things that can happen over the next two months."

Contact Chace Bryson at cbryson@cctimes.com.