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ALDS Game 4: Tigers choke away lead in 9th, lose to Athletics, 4-3

Jose Valverde blew a save in the ninth inning as the Athletics lived to see another day with a 4-3 victory.

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Miguel Cabrera blows off reporters after Game 4

Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera refused to conduct interviews with the media after the team's meltdown loss to the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night, much to the chagrin of veteran reliever Octavio Dotel.


Tigers blog laments epic meltdown by Valverde

The Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics are set to meet for a do-or-die Game 5 in the ALDS on Thursday night at 9:37 p.m. ET in Oakland, but only because the Tigers suffered an epic meltdown and blew big ninth-inning lead in a 4-3 loss on Wednesday. Over at SB Nation's Tigers blog, Bless You Boys, the misery and dread piled on in stages.

During the first stage came as closer Jose Valverde allowed a single to Josh Reddick, and consecutive doubles to Josh Donaldson and Seth Smith, all of which combined to tie the game at 3-3 with no outs. Then Valverde got George Kottaras to foul out and Cliff Pennington to strike out looking, which left the Tigers one out away from advancing to the ALCS.

Unfortunately for Tigers faithful, the final stage of misery came when Coco Crisp clinched the game for Oakland with a single in the next at bat, as explained by Al Beaton:

Just as it seemed Valverde would do us all a very small favor and send the game into extras, Crisp singled to right. Garcia charged the ball, but failed to pick it cleanly, Smith scoring the winning run without a throw. What's worse, it appeared Garcia could have had a play at the plate if he doesn't overrun the ball. Rookie mistake.

The Tigers were 3 outs away from clinching the ALDS. Jose Valverde allowed 4 hits and 3 runs, sending the series to a winner take all game 5.

Justin Verlander will take the mound for the Tigers in Game 5, starting opposite A's starter Jarrod Parker. Game time is set for 9:37 p.m. ET.


Thrill of comback victory sweeps over A's bloggers

The Oakland Athletics pulled off a miraculous ninth-inning comeback against the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 of the ALDS, and in the wake of their 4-3 win that will force a Game 5 on Thursday night, so Athletics fans have been celebrating their second life in the playoffs. The post that best sums up the three-run comeback is probably the initial reaction post from SB Nation's team site, Athletics Nation, entitled "GO CRAZY, EVERYONE! JUST PLAIN GO CRAZY!"

The Tigers held a 93.9 percent win probability heading into the ninth inning,according to FanGraphs.com, but the Athletics started a hit parade against Detroit closer Jose Valverde and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, as explained in the recap on Athletics Nation:

'Cause it's been the playoffs for like a month now, and every A's game absolutely rocks, and this team is fun, and wow, I can't wait to see them in person tomorrow. This was the best win of the season in a season full of amazing wins, and they get to play again tomorrow. The 2012 Oakland Athletics are a privilege, and no matter what happens tomorrow, I'll never forget this year.

The ninth inning for the A's unfolded as follows: Josh Reddick fought in a 1-2 count to hit and knocked a leadoff single through the right side, Josh Donaldson doubled to deep left center on the next pitch, Seth Smith doubled to deep right center to score both men, and then with two outs Coco Crisp singled to right field to bring home Smith as the winning run.

The Tigers and A's meet for Game 5 on Thursday night at 9:37 p.m. ET in Oakland.


Tigers blow ninth-inning lead, lose 4-3

The Detroit Tigers were three outs away from advancing to the American League Championship Series, but will now face Game 5 on the road.


Tigers lead 2-1 heading into bottom 7

The Oakland Athletics cut into the Detroit Tigers' lead in the bottom of the sixth inning on Wednesday night on a Stephen Drew double that scored Coco Crisp. The inning may have been worse, but Drew got thrown out at third with no outs trying to stretch the double into a triple. That double spelled the end for Max Scherzer -- he was relieved by Octavio Dotel and Phil Coke, who cleaned up the remainder of the inning.

Scherzer, who is easing back from shoulder and ankle injuries, allowed the one earned run and three hits over 5innings. He struck out eight batters and walked one. He was staked to a 2-0 lead thanks to an Austin Jackson single in the third inning and a Prince Fielder homer in the fourth.

If the Tigers are able to hold on tonight, they will advance to the ALCS, where they will face either the New York Yankees or Baltimore Orioles.


Fielder homer extends Tigers lead to 2-0

The Detroit Tigers jumped out to a 1-0 lead over the Oakland Athletics in Wednesday night's Game 4 of the ALDS thanks to Austin Jackson RBI single in the top of the third inning. Alex Avila doubled to right to lead off the inning, and after a sacrifice bunt by Omar Infante, Jackson brought the run home with hit to left. Prince Fielder added to the score in the top of the fourth with his first postseason home run as a Tiger.

A's starter A.J. Griffin has been shaky as the game has worn on, allowing six hits and two runs over the first three-plus innings. Tigers starter Max Scherzer has been better, though, holding Oakland to just one hit through three innings while striking out five and walking none. The performance so far from Scherzer has been especially encouraging considering the injuries that he battled in the last month of the season.

The Tigers, of course, can clinch an appearance in the ALCS with a victory on Wednesday night.


Tigers vs. Athletics: Starting lineups for Game 4

Jim Leyland's Detroit Tigers will hope to reach the American League Championship Series on Wednesday night from Oakland.

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