May 29: Detroit 11, Oakland 2
Detroit starter Bill Donovan pitched his third straight dandy game. His early season was so bad that his ERA has only lowered to 5.05. He was wild, issuing nine walks, but pitched around those enough to allow one earned in nine innings. Sam Crawford led the way for the offense with a single, double, triple, and stolen base.
R H BB DET 300 402 020 - 11 13 5 OAK 010 000 010 - 2 8 9 HR: none starters IP R ER HR BB SO B. Donovan 9.0 2 1 0 9 4 C. Bender 3.1 7 4 0 4 0 DET 20-29, OAK 28-21
May 30: Detroit 6, Oakland 3
George Uhle is similarly righting the ship for Detroit as they try to put their season back together. Alan Trammell whalloped a three-run job in the fourth to knock out Barry Zito.
R H BB DET 110 400 000 - 6 12 4 OAK 000 000 111 - 3 9 3 HR: A. Trammell (6) starters IP R ER HR BB SO G. Uhle 7.0 2 2 0 2 2 B. Zito 3.1 5 5 1 3 2 DET 21-29, OAK 28-22
May 31: Detroit 7, Oakland 5 (11 innings)
This one was one of the most fun games of the season. Oakland was in excellent shape to salvage one game in the series as Rube Waddell was nails for eight innings and took a 3-1 lead into the top of the ninth. Hank Greenberg led the ninth off with a single and stole second base, but Al Kaline and Charles Gehringer followed that up with unproductive outs and Waddell was just one out away. But then Bill Freehan singled in Greenberg. No worries, still a 3-2 lead for Oakland with one out to go. But then Alan Trammell, who had a monster series, singled Freehan to third. Some worries.
Detroit sent up pinch-hitter Sam Crawford, and Dennis Eckersley relieved the fatigued Waddell. Crawford mashed Eck’s first pitch and tore around the bases for a two-run triple and all of a sudden Detroit led 4-3. Eck whiffed Ty Cobb to strand Crawford at third.
Mickey Cochrane led off the bottom of the frame with a single, pinch-hitting Mark McGwire followed with a single, and Rickey Henderson walked to load the bases with zero outs for Oakland. Eddie Collins then rolled into a double play, but it did score Cochrane to tie the game up at four. After a Jason Giambi strikeout, the game headed to the 10th.
Dennis Eckersley remained on the mound, and served up a lead-off mama-jama to Harry Heilmann to put the Tigers back in front 5-4. Eck retired the next three, and Al Simmons pulled the same trick with a lead-off jack against Mike Henneman in the bottom of the 10th to again tie the game. The frame ended with the score still even at five, and Justin Duchscherer took over mound duties for the A’s despite getting roughed up all year. Things stayed bad for Duchscherer as Charles Gehringer and Alan Trammell both doubled and Travis Fryman singled to give Detroit a two-run lead. Detroit had taken a lead in the ninth, another lead in the 10th, and now had taken another lead in the 11th.
Al Benton finally made a lead stick for Detroit as he got three ground-outs in the bottom of the 11th. And there was much rejoicing in Tigers-land.
R H BB DET 000 000 103 12 - 7 13 2 OAK 000 110 011 10 - 5 10 7 HR: H. Heilmann (6), A. Simmons (8) starters IP R ER HR BB SO J. Verlander 7.0 2 2 0 5 3 R. Waddell 8.2 4 3 0 2 1 DET 22-29, OAK 28-23