DETROIT -- At least one member of the A's didn't like "The Kiss." A few more said they hope they eventually can deliver a return smack to Detroit Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque when the American League Division Series returns to Oakland.

With the score tied 4-4 in the top of the ninth, Oakland had runners at first and third with two out when Yoenis Cespedes came to the plate against Alburquerque with a chance to drive in a go-ahead run.

But on a 1-1 pitch, Cespedes hit a sharp comebacker that Alburquerque snared just to the right of the mound. Since he had plenty of time, he brought the ball up to his lips and kissed it before making an underhand toss to first baseman Prince Fielder to end the Oakland threat.

It was a huge out for the Tigers, but Josh Reddick didn't like the embellishment that went with it.

"I didn't appreciate it," Reddick said. "I think that it was immature and not very professional."

Reddick was asked if he thought the right-hander was showing up the A's by making the gesture, and he wasn't hesitant to respond.

"It's exactly what he was doing," he said. "I don't think anybody from one day of experience in the big leagues to 15 years' experience in the big leagues should do that. Everybody knows this is a professional game and you have to keep that stuff to yourself. Maybe you can do it in the dugout when nobody's looking, but you have to keep that stuff out of the game."


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Alburquerque maintained he was simply so overjoyed to get the final out against Oakland's dangerous No. 3 hitter.

"I just did it," he said. "It was the emotion of the game. I wasn't trying to be a hot dog."

The right-hander also gave his teammates something else to savor in the wake of their 5-4 victory.

"We were cracking up in the dugout," said pitcher Max Scherzer said. "We were like, 'Did he really just kiss the ball?' ... Alburquerque does some crazy things on the mound."

Many of the A's players maintained they didn't see the kiss, nor did manager Bob Melvin. Since he hit the ball, Cespedes obviously did, but when asked about it through interpreter Ariel Prieto, he took a lighter view.

"It's OK, it's nothing," Cespedes said. "When we get back in Oakland, I hit the ball hard against him or whatever, and I can kiss my bat."

Closer Grant Balfour said he would only kiss the ball in the optimum circumstance.

"If I won the World Series I might kiss it, but other than that ...," Balfour said.

Noted pitcher Brett Anderson, "I've never seen that before. It had a little flair to it. To each his own, I guess."

  • Anderson declared himself ready to start Game 3 on Tuesday, though Melvin said an official announcement will come Monday.

    Anderson has been sidelined since Sept. 19, when he strained his oblique while pitching against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

    "Barring anything crazy happening during the workout (Monday), I feel I'm good to go," Anderson said. "If we don't win our next game, everyone can go rest their bodies for however long they want in the offseason. I told them to fire up some Icy Hot and we'll get after it and see what happens."

    Melvin said before Game 2 that he hoped to get Anderson on the mound "sooner rather than later." The A's have gotten solid starts from Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone in the first two games, but Anderson would lend more experience to an otherwise all-rookie rotation, though he's just 24 himself.

    "Brett's reputation and abilities are well known," A's general manager Billy Beane said. "Just having that type of talent on the field is the most important thing."

  • Milone, the A's second rookie pitcher in two days, was even better than Game 1 starter Parker and got better as he went along. He allowed five hits, a walk and a lone run while striking out six over his 100-pitch, six-inning stint. He was in line to get a victory when Oakland briefly went ahead 2-1 in the top of the seventh.

    Even though Detroit hit several well-struck fly balls against the left-hander, he kept the ball in the park and retired 10 straight hitters before giving up a harmless two-out single in the sixth.

    "I thought he did really well for us," said Melvin. "He was a little out of sync early on, but he recovered as the game went along. I think that shows you he's a mature kid and nothing really bothers him out there."

    Milone was pleased with his own performance if not the outcome.

    "I think the most important thing was just battling and trying to keep the team in the game," he said. "If you go out there down one game, every pitch means something. You take the good. We just have to work a little bit harder when we get home."

    Milone, the only A's pitcher who hasn't missed a start this season, said he wasn't prepared mentally to accept that Sunday might have been his final outing.

    "No, definitely not," he said. "I'm going to prepare for my next start and take it from there. We have some work to do, but we have confidence that we can battle and come back to win the series."

  • Don Kelly, the player who scored the tying run as an eighth-inning pinch-runner and then drove in the winning run in the ninth with a sacrifice fly, was actually designated for assignment by the Tigers two months ago. But when he went unclaimed, ended up back on the major league roster in September, and despite a .186 average made the Tigers' roster for the ALDS.

    Just as remarkable, this is the second big postseason blow for Kelly. Last year, he homered for the first run in a 3-2 Detroit victory that eliminated the Yankees in Game 5 of their division series.

  • A's pitcher Brandon McCarthy left a clubhouse pass Saturday night for comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who was performing down the street at the Fox Theatre. Seinfeld didn't show after the game but tweeted to McCarthy on Sunday: "Would love to next chance there is. Go A's."

  • Repercussions of Pat Neshek's appearance in Game 1 of the ALDS just three days after his newborn son Gehrig John died were still being felt, including in the Tigers clubhouse.

    "My wife's pregnant," said Detroit catcher Alex Avila. "I can't even imagine what he's been going through. I know he's a tough guy and everything, but it's very impressive. He forever has my respect."