Nationals Beat Cards, Tigers Lead A’s 2-0 in MLB Playoffs

Don Kelly’s sacrifice fly in the ninth inning gave the Detroit Tigers a 5-4 victory against the Oakland Athletics and a two-games-to-none lead in their Major League Baseball playoff series.

Game 3 of the best-of-five American League Division Series is set for Oct. 9 in Oakland, with Detroit needing one more win to advance to the AL Championship Series.

“It’s easier to win one, obviously, then to have to go out there and have to win two, so it’s a great feeling,” Kelly told reporters. “To be able to go up 2-0 in front of our home fans is huge.”

In the National League, Tyler Moore’s two-run pinch-hit single in the eighth inning gave the Washington Nationals a 3-2 victory against the host St. Louis Cardinals in the opening game of their division series.

Game 2 in the best-of-five National League Division Series is set for tomorrow in St. Louis.

“To get the first one is huge,” Moore said in a televised interview. “It’s tough to play here and they won the World Series last year, so it gives us a lot of confidence.”

In Detroit, Cliff Pennington’s run-scoring single gave Oakland a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh, only to have the Tigers retake the lead in the bottom of the inning on center fielder Coco Crisp’s two-run error.

Oakland’s Lead

Oakland responded with two runs in the eighth to take a 4-3 lead. Yoenis Cespedes singled, stole second and third bases and came home on a wild pitch, and then Josh Reddick hit a tie- breaking home run.

Detroit came right back in the bottom of the eighth, scoring on a wild pitch to tie the game 4-4.

The A’s began the season 29th in the major leagues with a $55 million payroll, compared to fifth-highest Detroit at $132 million, according to USA Today’s annual survey. The Oakland roster was assembled by General Manager Billy Beane, whose philosophy of evaluating players was the topic of the book “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis.

The opener of the New York Yankees’ AL Division Series against the Orioles started after being delayed for about 2 1/2 hours by rain in Baltimore.

In the National League, the Cincinnati Reds try to take a 2-0 lead tonight in their series against the San Francisco Giants.

The Yankees are 7-2 favorites to win the World Series. The Tigers and Reds began today with second-best odds of 9-2, according to the Las Vegas Hotel’s Super Book. The Cardinals and Nationals are at 6-1, the A’s and Giants are at 9-1 and the Orioles are at 14-1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Gloster in San Francisco at rgloster@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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