Coke (1-2) gave up just three hits to go with two strikeouts and two walks for the Tigers, who have won three in a row since a three-game skid. Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save.
Ramon Santiago went 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored for Detroit, which started a seven-game road trip on Thursday. Ryan Raburn also knocked in a run for the victors.
Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez tossed six scoreless frames to lower his earned run average to 0.47. Gonzalez also struck out six and walked six. Tyson Ross (1-1) gave up three runs — two earned — on two hits over one-plus innings to take the loss.
Oakland’s best chance to score came in the first inning. Daric Barton walked and Conor Jackson singled to put men on first and second with one out. Barton moved to third when Josh Willingham popped out. Coke kept the A’s off the board by getting Hideki Matsui to ground out.
Detroit stranded runners on second and third in the fifth and sixth.
The Tigers, though, got on the board in the seventh. Ross took over on the mound for Gonzalez and allowed a leadoff single to Santiago, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Raburn’s double off the wall in right.
Detroit tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth without recording a hit in the frame.
Ross walked Jhonny Peralta and Brennan Boesch. Jerry Blevins came in from the bullpen and issued another free pass to Brandon Inge to load the bases. Santiago then hit a sacrifice fly to left fielder Willingham, who threw the ball to third base. But there was nobody covering third, which allowed another run to cross the plate for a 3-0 lead.
Joaquin Benoit tossed a perfect eighth for the Tigers before Valverde’s 1-2-3 ninth.
Detroit split its six meetings with the A’s last season…Oakland started a six-game homestand on Thursday…The A’s pitching staff walked 11 batters…Jackson had two of Oakland’s three hits.