x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

MLB playoffs: Oakland and San Francisco keep hopes alive with narrow victories

Coco Crisp showed his value with both bat and glove as the Athletics took their series with Detroit to a fourth game.

Grant Balfour and Coco Crisp celebrate after Oakland defeat Detroit in game three of their playoff series
Grant Balfour and Coco Crisp celebrate after Oakland defeat Detroit in game three of their playoff series

Coco Crisp showed his worth with bat and glove as the Oakland Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers 2-0 to stay alive in their American League Divisional Series.

Brett Anderson tossed six scoreless innings, striking out six, as the Athletics limited the Tigers to just four hits on the way to reducing the deficit in the best-of-five series to 2-1.

"I just wanted to go out and give us a chance to win. I'm glad we got it done," Anderson said. "Couldn't really script it but it worked out. Hopefully we can keep going and win two more."

Oakland is hosting the final three games of the series and will be hoping for a repeat of the manner in which they ended the regular season with a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers to steal the AL West title on the final day.

Game Four is at The Coliseum on Wednesday.

As Anderson kept Detroit's hitters at bay, Yoenis Cespedes gave the Athletics an early lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning before Seth Smith added a solo home run in the fifth.

Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez was also solid in allowing just two runs in 6 1/3 innings of work but it was not enough to finish off a resilient Athletics team that has performed brilliantly as a unit since the All-Star break.

Meanwhile the San Francisco Giants also forced a fourth game in their National League Divisional Series with Cincinnati Reds, claiming a 2-1 win in ugly fashion.

An error by eight-time Gold Glove-winning Reds' third baseman Scott Rolen allowed Buster Posey to score from third base in the 10th after he had moved up on a passed ball by catcher Ryan Hanigan. The Giants, World Series winners in 2010, were held hitless by Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey until a two-out single in the sixth by second baseman Marco Scutaro.

The Reds, who have not won a playoff series since 1995, still lead the best-of-five National League division series 2-1 with game four at Cincinnati on Wednesday. A fifth game if needed would be in Cincinnati on Thursday.


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