OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Coco Crisp climaxed a three-run, ninth-inning rally with an RBI single Wednesday to give Oakland a 4-3 win over Detroit that evened their playoff series.
Needing two runs to keep their season alive, the Athletics produced a thrilling comeback that forced a fifth and deciding game in their series with the Tigers.
Oakland had managed only one hit in 2 1/3 innings against the Detroit bull pen, but the A's quickly got to Jose Valverde in the ninth.
Josh Reddick opened the inning with a single to right that barely eluded a diving stab by second baseman Omar Infante and Reddick then went to third on a double by Josh Donaldson that rattled off the wall in left-center.
That brought up Seth Smith, whose double in the right-centerfield gap brought home both runners and tied the game.
Valverde then gave himself a chance to avoid further damage when he got George Kottaras on a foul popup and struck out Cliff Pennington.
Crisp was next and he drove a hot grounder through the hole into right field. Smith never slowed down as he rounded third and headed for home, but a clean pickup in right field by Avisail Garcia would likely have created a close play at the plate.
The ball, however, slipped under the glove of Garcia as he tried to make a running scoop and Smith easily scored the winning run.
Until the ninth, the only Oakland run had come in the sixth and it was unearned thanks to a fielding error by Fielder at first base.
Ryan Cook retired all four men he faced in the eighth and ninth to pick up the victory.
Justin Verlander will start for the Tigers in the deciding game while Jarrod Parker will pitch for the A's. They faced each other in the opening game of the series, which Detroit won 3-1.