OAKLAND -- Rajai Davis stole a 6-5 win for the Detroit Tigers against the A's on Tuesday in every sense of the word.

The one-time A' s outfielder, on second base with one out in the eighth inning, set up the go-ahead run. With pinch hitter Nick Castellanos batting against A's reliever Fernando Abad, Davis waited until catcher Derek Norris was throwing the ball back to Abad before taking off and stealing his 16th base.

Moments later, with Castellanos having walked, A's reliever Luke Gregerson hoped to get an inning-ending double play. He got the grounder he wanted, but it wasn't hit close enough to shortstop Jed Lowrie, and the A's were only able to get one out as Davis scored to break a 5-5 tie.

Without the steal, the game could have gone to extra innings. Instead, the A's (31-21), have lost five of their past six games.

Manager Bob Melvin said he hadn't seen video of the play, so he didn't know if Abad, having caught the ball, might have thrown out Davis with a quick throw. But Davis, using a sly rocking motion that indicated he was headed back to second base, was precise.

"He timed his break perfectly," Melvin said.

For that the A's had no answer, going down without much of a fight in the eighth and ninth innings. And that underscored what a slap in the face Davis' steal was, because for eight innings, Oakland answered every push by the Tigers with a push back of their own.


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The A's seemed to have gotten over the top when John Jaso, batting after he'd been hit on the left elbow, turned on a 1-0 changeup that Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer left up in the strike zone in the fourth inning. The home run put the A's up 5-4 after they'd trailed 2-0 and 4-2.

"Scherzer fooled me with every changeup he threw tonight," Jaso said. "Except that one. He left it up, and I was looking to hit it hard."

Jaso did, driving the ball into the right field bleachers. A's starter Sonny Gray, struggled every bit as much as Scherzer, including giving up a third-inning, tie-breaking homer to Miguel Cabrera, a near duplicate of the homer Cabrera hit off him in last year's playoffs.

"He hit the same pitch as last year," Gray said. "He put a good swing on it. I thought it was a good pitch, but he muscled up."

Even so, thanks to Jaso, Gray left the game with that one-run lead. But reliever Dan Otero, who had never allowed a home run in a big league game until this year saw Torii Hunter take him deep to center field, the ball just eluding Coco Crisp as he crashed into the fence.

Melvin said he thought Crisp would be available to play Wednesday night and that the center fielder didn't hit the wall as hard as he had on the last homestand, a crash that sidelined him for part of the just-completed road trip.

What Melvin doesn't know is if Jaso will be available. The manager said he wasn't sure how Jaso could continue to play Tuesday with his arm swelling. Jaso said that while the swelling "kept getting bigger," he didn't think the injury was serious and that he would be ready to play Wednesday if needed.

  • The A's found out early in the day they'd done well in the first round of fan voting for the July All-Star Game. Josh Donaldson led all vote-getters at third base, catcher Derek Norris ranked third, and DH Brandon Moss and shortstop Lowrie both were fifth. "If we have one player on the All-Star team, it should be J.D.," Moss said. Donaldson (.276, 12 homers, 38 RBIs) said he wasn't going to get carried away this early in the process. "It's great; so far, so good," he said. "At this time last year I wasn't on the ballot. It shows you where things have come. It would definitely be pretty awesome for me."

  • Reliever Ryan Cook seems to be close to a return from the disabled list, where the A's have had to park him since May 8 with a strained right forearm. The right-hander threw 22 pitches. "Honestly, I'm thoroughly surprised at how good it felt," Cook said. "It's one thing to be confident (that the injury was minor), but it's something else to have things respond the way you want them to feel."

  • A.J. Griffin, who had Tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery at the end of April, made an appearance in the A's clubhouse Tuesday. He was wearing an imposing-looking brace that can lock the arm in place or can be opened to allow for flexibility, which is the way Griffin had it while meeting and greeting his teammates. Griffin, who is expected to be able to pitch again in the first half of the 2015 season, also was styling a new haircut, his long surfer-length locks a thing of the past.

  • Nick Punto wasn't in the starting lineup, but Melvin said the infielder was healthy enough to be available in the later innings Tuesday. Punto had not appeared in any of the last three games while nursing a calf injury.

    For more on the A's, see John Hickey's Inside the A's blog at ibabuzz.com/athletics. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JHickey3.

    WEDNESDAY'S GAME
    Detroit (Anibal
    Sanchez 2-2) at A's (Scott Kazmir 5-2), 7:05 p.m. CSNCA

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