A's take 2-0 lead to 9th inning, looking to force Game 4

Expert Analysis: One run is good. Two are better.

Got that? Oakland's bullpen has been outstanding this season, and especially down the stretch. That's essentially how they caught and beat the Rangers for the American League West flag. Still, in the ninth inning A's closer Grant Balfour will have to face Omar Infante (hmm), Miguel Cabrera (OMG) and Prince Fielder (BIG).

So a two-run lead looks a lot better than a one-run lead.

And that's where things stand after eight inning: Athletics 2, Tigers 0 after Phil Coke and Rick Porcello kept the A's off the board in the bottom of the eighth.

The A's, of course, lost the first two games of this series. But that was in Detroit, and one of them was against Justin Verlander and so it really doesn't count. Now they're in Oakland, and if Balfour can keep the Tigers from scoring two runs and the A's can get to Max Scherzer in Game 4 ... well, Justin Verlander doesn't win every game he pitches, right?

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