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Athletics rally from five-run deficit to defeat Tigers

DETROIT (AP) -- A pitcher's dream turned into a nightmare.

The Detroit Tigers gave Zach Miner a five-run lead in the first,
Mark Kotsay's three-run homer the next inning helped Oakland erase
the deficit and the Athletics added four runs later in a 9-5
victory Saturday.

"I looked up at the scoreboard after that -- I pretty much
wanted to kick myself in the head," Miner said.

Milton Bradley and Marco Scutaro each added homers and Joe Blanton overcame a rough start for the A's, who maintained their
slim lead over Texas in the AL West. They went ahead 6-5 in the
fifth on Mark Ellis' second sacrifice fly.

"We had a chance to get buried, but Blanton bowed his neck,"
Oakland manager Ken Macha said.

The A's can win their third straight series on the road Sunday,
and win the season series against Detroit.

The Tigers lost for the first time in four games, but still have
the best record in the majors and a comfortable lead over the
Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.

"We're not going to win every day," Tigers manager Jim Leyland
said. "I'll have a nice dinner tonight. I'm going to relax and
enjoy it because they did everything a manager could ask for. They
gave us a nice win last night, they came out today ready to play."

The Tigers got off to a great start with five runs in the first
inning, three on Carlos Guillen's double. Then, Blanton and
Oakland's defense shut down the Tigers.

Blanton (10-8) gave up five runs and nine hits over five
innings.

"When we got the five runs, I just tried to keep it there," he
said. "They got some pretty good swings early in the game on good
pitches."

Brad Halsey entered in the sixth and got out of a two-on,
one-out jam with a strikeout and flyout. After striking out Curtis
Granderson to start the seventh, he was replaced by Kiko Calero,
who gave up two singles before getting an out. Justin Duchscherer
ended the inning by getting Guillen to line out to right. Huston Street pitched the ninth.

"What the bullpen did was get big outs when we needed it,"
Macha said.

Many of Detroit's 14 hits were negated by Oakland's defense,
which turned three double plays, including one on Kotsay's throw to
second when Placido Polanco tried to advance on a fly in the fifth.

"They got timely hitting, and we didn't," Tigers catcher Vance Wilson said.

Miner gave up five runs -- all in the second, wasting a 5-0 lead
-- and seven hits over 2 1/3 innings, easily the rookie's shortest
outing. He gave up five runs in his previous start, a loss to
Kansas City after winning six straight games.

"I'm assuming that he'll make his next start," Leyland said.

Wilfredo Ledezma (1-1) gave up three runs, three hits and four
walks over 4 2/3 innings. He had five strikeouts.

Bradley, who is hitting nearly .500 since coming off the
disabled list July 12, put the A's ahead 8-5 with a 436-foot shot
to left in the sixth.

Scutaro's solo homer in the eighth, which gave the A's a 9-5
lead, came on Roman Colon's first pitch.

The Tigers jumped ahead in the first with four singles,
including Magglio Ordonez's RBI, and Guillen's three-run double
before Blanton got an out. Brandon Inge's sacrifice fly made it
5-0.

Oakland led off the second with three singles and Ellis'
sacrifice fly brought home its first run. Jason Kendall had an RBI
single and Kotsay followed with his game-tying, three-run homer.

"I think the team showed a lot of heart and a lot of
character," Kotsay said. "We didn't bow our heads going in
against a good ballclub."

Game notes
Detroit DH Dmitri Young was 1-for-4 in his second game back
with the team after being on the DL since May 22 with a leg injury
and personal issues, including treatment for substance abuse. ...
A's SS Bobby Crosby, who left Friday's game with a sore back, did
not play and might miss Sunday's game. ... Tigers LF Craig Monroe
returned to the lineup after missing Friday's game with a hamstring
injury. He went 2-for-5 with a run scored. ... Detroit 2B Placido
Polanco had four hits, matching a season high.