Tigers clip A's behind Raburn's two homers

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Ryan Raburn quickly made up for a defensive blunder with his second homer of the night.

Raburn homered in his first two at-bats, Edwin Jackson pitched six strong innings and the Detroit Tigers beat the Oakland Athletics 3-2 on Friday night.

Raburn played Ryan Sweeney's hit in the second into a double, which eventually led to the A's scoring the tying run. His third-inning homer broke the tie for good.

"I told him 'You're plus one so far," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He had a good gig going."

Raburn said he seems to have trouble defensively on the West Coast.

"It must be something in the air," he said. "My eyes get irritated here and in Anaheim. I don't like playing the field here. I do like hitting here."

Clete Thomas also drove in a run for the Tigers, who won for the sixth time in eight games to take a 3 1/2-game lead over the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.

Jack Cust had three hits and drove in a run and Rajai Davis had two hits and drove in a run for the A's, who have lost five of seven. Ryan Sweeney added a pair of hits.

"All their guys made some pitches," Cust said. "Jackson, when he had guys on base, seemed to reach back and find something extra."

Raburn hit solo home runs his first two times up to put Detroit on top. It was his second career multihomer game and his first in over two years.

"The power has always been there," Raburn said. "I'm just being more consistent at the plate and giving myself more of a chance every time at the plate."

Jackson (10-5) allowed two runs on six hits, striking out five and walking one in winning his third straight decision. He's allowed two runs or less in nine of his 14 road starts. The All-Star is 4-1 over his last 11 starts. His 2.80 road ERA is third in the AL.

"For the most part I was being aggressive around the plate," Jackson said. "It's always good when you can get a win, especially when it's the first game of a series."

Jackson did not allow a home run for the first time in nine games. Bobby Seay and Brandon Lyon got the Tigers through eight and Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 27 games.

Placido Polanco saved the lead when he backhanded Nomar Garciaparra's hard one-hopper with a runner at second base.

"That was an unbelievable play," Raburn said. "That's what makes him one of the best second basemen in the game and one of the best overall players."

The A's Gio Gonzalez (4-4) allowed three runs on four hits, walking four and striking out a career-high nine.

"I felt strong, positive," Gonzalez said. "I wanted to keep going after them, keep throwing strikes. When you throw the ball over the plate, some guys will hit it."

Leyland switched the top of his lineup, giving Polanco his second start at the leadoff spot and Raburn his second start in the third position.

Raburn responded to the move with two-out home runs in the first and third, the second snapping a 1-1 tie. He has three homers in his last two games.

"If anything, having Miguel Cabrera hitting behind you makes the chances of seeing better pitches better," Raburn said.

Thomas singled home a run in the sixth.

Cust singled home a run in the second for the A's, while Davis, who has hit safely in 22 of his last 24 games, doubled home a run in the seventh.

Game notes
Tigers RHP Joel Zumaya underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips in his right shoulder. ... A's RHP Justin Duchscherer will miss the season to concentrate on treatment for clinical depression. ... Tigers' LHP Dontrelle Willis had X-rays to determine the extent of damage on a sore hip. ... A's INF Bobby Crosby was placed on the DL with a strained left calf and 1B Daric Barton was activated from the DL. ... Gonzalez did not win for the first time when the game time temperature was 72 degrees or higher. ... A's 2B Mark Ellis played his 806th game at the position, moving him into fifth all-time in franchise history. ... Raburn hit two home runs on July 25, 2007.