DETROIT, MI-- Saturday's American League Division series game pitted two very hot teams. The Tigers closed their regular season on an 8-2 run to win the AL Central, and the A's captured the AL West by taking eight of their last nine.
The Tigers stayed hot as Justin Verlander worked seven strong innings to beat the Athletics 3-1 in Detroit. Verlander struck out 11 and allowed only three hits in seven frames. He blanked Oakland after Coco Crisp led off the game with a homer.
Jose Valverde worked a perfect ninth to complete a combined four-hitter for the Tigers, who host Game 2 on Sunday afternoon.
Quintin Berry snapped a 1-1 tie with an RBI single in the third inning. Alex Avila's solo blast in the fifth gave Detroit a two-run cushion.
Losing pitcher Jerrod Parker was lifted with one out in the seventh, charged with two earned runs and seven hits.
A's reliever Pat Neshek (NEE'-shehk) relieved Parker, one day after returning to the team following the death of his newborn son. Neshek retired the two batters he faced.