Torii Hunter added three hits, including a run-scoring double in the first inning to open the scoring, and Miguel Cabrera contributed a two-run single for Detroit, which took the rubber match of a three-game road series.
Anibal Sanchez (2-0) earned the victory, limiting the Athletics to one run over seven innings. He yielded three hits and four walks while striking out eight.
A's starter Jarrod Parker (0-2) lasted just 3 1/3 innings after getting torched for eight runs on nine hits.
Derek Norris provided the only RBI for Oakland.