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A.L. division series glance: Tigers vs. A’s

Sat., Oct. 6, 2012, midnight

Tonight’s Game 1: Oakland (Parker 13-8, 3.47 ERA, 140 K)

at Detroit (Verlander 17-8, 2.64 ERA, 239 K), 3:07 p.m. ( TV: TBS)

Last meeting: The A’s were swept by Detroit in the 2006 ALCS, ending their last playoff trip. Detroit won the pennant on a home run by Magglio Ordonez.

This season: The teams split a four-game series in Oakland in May, and Detroit won two of three at home in September.

A’s big picture: This was supposed to be a rebuilding year in Oakland after the team began with the lowest opening-day payroll in the majors at $53 million. Instead, manager Bob Melvin led a collection of rookies and misfits to the franchise’s first playoff berth since 2006. … After a rocky start, Oakland (94-68) has a major league-best 72-38 record since June 2. … Oakland finished the season with five rookie starters and the 54 wins from rookies are the most ever for a playoff team.

Tigers’ big picture: It wasn’t as easy as many expected, but Detroit (88-74) finally wrested the A.L. Central title away from the fading Chicago White Sox down the stretch to reach the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 1934-35. … Detroit finished sixth in the A.L. in runs. The Tigers were 10th in homers – with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder accounting for more than 45 percent of the team’s total of 163. … The Tigers lost to Texas in the 2011 A.L. championship series.


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