OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Pinch-runner Rajai Davis's decision to steal third base just as Oakland catcher Derek Norris was throwing the ball back to the pitcher caught most everyone by surprise -- including several of his Detroit teammates.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus just hopes it's the spark to pull his slumping team out of its two-week funk.
Davis scored on Austin Jackson's fielder's choice groundout in the eighth inning and the Tigers beat the Athletics 6-5 on Tuesday night to end a three-game losing streak.
"Raj was just being Raj," Ausmus said. "He likes to wreak havoc on the bases, he saw the pitcher's head drop and he took advantage."
A day after getting shut out in this ALDS rematch from a year ago, the Tigers jumped out to an early lead, lost it, then rallied to win for just the second time in nine games.
That helped overcome another rough outing by reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, who gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings but was long gone by the time Davis scored the game-winning run.
J.D. Martinez drew a one-out walk off Oakland reliever Fernando Abad (0-2). Davis was brought in to run and the speedy outfielder took second on a passed ball. He then stole third when A's catcher Derek Norris was throwing the ball back to Abad.
After Luke Gregerson replaced Abad, Jackson hit a sharp grounder to shortstop Jed Lowrie, but the A's were unable to turn the double play and Davis raced home with the go-ahead run.
"I think he caught the whole stadium by surprise," Nathan said. "I know I missed it."
A's manager Bob Melvin credited Davis for his aggressive running.
Miguel Cabrera and Torii Hunter homered for the Al Central-leading Tigers. Al Albuquerque (2-1) pitched one inning for the win and Nathan worked the ninth for his 12th save in 15 tries.
John Jaso homered for the A's.
The game began as a marquee matchup between Scherzer and Sonny Gray, but both starters were gone after the sixth.
Scherzer, who beat the A's in Game 1 of the ALDS last season, struck out four, walked two and balked home a run.
Gray, who led the AL in ERA entering the night, wasn't much better. He pitched with runners on base in nearly every inning, allowed four runs for the first time this season and struck out five before leaving with a one-run lead after the sixth.
Reliever Dan Otero gave up Hunter's tying home run with two outs in the seventh before the Tigers scored off Abad in the eighth.
It was a much-needed boost for the slumping Tigers, who had dropped seven of eight before coming from behind to beat the A's.
BLUE JAYS 9, RAYS 6
TORONTO -- Mark Buehrle became the first nine-game winner in the majors, Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind hit back-to-back home runs and the Toronto Blue Jays extended their winning streak to eight games, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6 on Tuesday night.
Buehrle (9-1) allowed four runs, three earned, and eight hits in 62/3 innings. Casey Janssen finished for his eighth save in eight chances.
ANGELS 6, MARINERS 4
SEATTLE -- Jered Weaver gave up three runs over six innings for his fifth win in six starts and C.J. Cron homered to lead Los Angeles.
Weaver (6-3) gave up seven hits and a walk while striking out five. Weaver has lasted at least six innings in nine of his 11 starts this season, and this was the first time in eight outings he allowed more than two runs.
TWINS 4, RANGERS 3
MINNEAPOLIS -- Texas closer Joakim Soria bobbled a slow-bouncing ball hit by Minnesota's Danny Santana to the left of the mound with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth inning, allowing the winning run to score.
Hughes allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings. Glen Perkins (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the victory, stranding Alex Rios after a leadoff triple.
ASTROS 3, ROYALS 0
KANSAS CITY -- Collin McHugh held light-hitting Kansas City at bay over seven innings, and Houston earned its first four-game winning streak since last September.
McHugh (3-3) scattered five hits while striking out nine without issuing a walk to earn his first win in five starts.
CARDINALS 6, YANKEES 0
ST. LOUIS -- Lance Lynn threw a five-hit shutout in his first career complete game and the St. Louis Cardinals got home runs from Allen Craig and Matt Holliday in a 6-0 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
Lynn (6-2) struck out two and walked three, topping his previous career best of eight innings on April 25, 2012, at Chicago against the Cubs.
BREWERS 7, ORIOLES 6 (10)
MILWAUKEE -- Pitcher Yovani Gallardo delivered a pinch-hit double that drove home the winning run with two outs in the 10th inning, foiling Baltimore's strategy and sending Milwaukee to victory.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke sent up Gallardo -- a starting pitcher who was 1 for 14 this season -- to bat for reliever Francisco Rodriguez (2-1).
GIANTS 4, CUBS 0
SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Hudson turned in another vintage performance to start this season, tossing seven scoreless innings to lead San Francisco past Chicago.
Hudson (5-2) allowed six hits, struck out five and walked none. The 38-year-old has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of his 10 starts, and he has pitched at least seven innings eight times.
RED SOX 6, BRAVES 3
ATLANTA -- Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run single during a four-run rally in the seventh inning and Boston beat Atlanta in the latest comeback following its longest losing streak in 20 years.
Jon Lester (5-6) snapped a personal two-game losing streak by giving up three runs on eight hits and three walks in six innings. Koji Uehara retired the Braves in order in the ninth for his 11th save.
PADRES 4, DIAMONDBACKS 3
PHOENIX -- Tommy Medica hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning and Eric Stults pitched six effective innings for San Diego.
Kevin Quackenbush (1-1) pitched 12/3 innings for his first win in the majors after giving up a walkoff homer the night before and Huston Street worked a perfect ninth for his 15th straight save.
ROCKIES 6, PHILLIES 2
PHILADELPHIA -- Wilin Rosario hit a go-ahead, three-run homer and Jorge De La Rosa pitched six strong innings to lift Colorado to victory.
De La Rosa (6-3) continued his strong stretch, allowing one run and six hits with four strikeouts and two walks. The left-hander is 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his last seven starts.