That’s where things stood until the top of the fifth inning when Jed Lowrie struck again, though this time Fister couldn’t keep him in the park as the infielder cranked a two-run bomb to deep right field, giving the Oakland Athletics a 3-0 lead.
With elimination just fifteen outs away, the Detroit Tigers battled back as moments after Lowrie gave the Athletics a three-run lead, Tigers outfielder (more like shortstop) Jhonny Peralta smacked a three-run home run off Athletics starter Dan Straily, who up until the fifth inning had not allowed a hit.
The three-run jack tied the game until Oakland again took the lead, this time not off the bat of Jed Lowrie but rather Coco Crisp who knocked in catcher Stephen Vogt with a shallow single to center. But not to be outdone, the Tigers again continued to claw back into the seesaw battle come the bottom of the seventh with a Victor Martinez home run which was followed by an Austin Jackson RBI single a few minutes later, giving the Tigers their first lead of Game 4.
Despite that, the Athletics just refused to away.
With Game 1 starter Max Scherzer on the mound for his second inning of relief work, Oakland was able to load the bases with no outs where almost any type of contact would plate the game tying run – even a double play.
They couldn’t get it.
Scherzer buckled down, striking out Josh Reddick in a full count (he swung at a clear ball four) and striking out Stephen Vogt before locking in on a full-count battle with pinch hitter Alberto Callaspo. Callaspo, who hit a foul dribbler down the third base line earlier in the bat which nearly gave Oakland the lead, got good wood on the deciding pitch, though hit it right at Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson, ending the threat.
The momentum apparently carried on into the bottom half of the eighth inning where the Tigers plated three more runs thanks to a wild pitch and an RBI double, giving them an 8-4 lead which they would not relinquish, despite the best efforts of Oakland who scored two in the top of the ninth.
Detroit’s win sends both teams back to California for a winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday night.