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Donaldson, Kazmir give A's chance to win series against Tigers today

There's nothing like a walk-off win at the Coliseum, and that's what A's fans got on Wednesday night.
There's nothing like a walk-off win at the Coliseum, and that's what A's fans got on Wednesday night.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

(OAKLAND) -- The two best teams in the American League will battle it out again today at the Coliseum, after the Oakland Athletics returned a favor to the Detroit Tigers with a come-from-behind win on Wednesday night.

On Tuesday night, the Tigers overcame a seventh-inning deficit to win the game, 6-5, and last night, it was the A's turn: after Oakland starter Scott Kazmir completed his first nine-inning game since 2006, third baseman Josh Donaldson picked him up for the victory with a three-run home run to win the game in the bottom of the last inning.

Pretty electric stuff, even if only than 15,000+ fans saw it live. The A's now have the best record (32-21) in the AL after the 3-1 win, and if the Tigers (29-20) can win today, Detroit will grab that "best record" title back from Oakland. What more could MLB fans ask for right now?

This is playoff baseball, in late May. And after the last two postseasons where the clubs battled it out in the AL Division Series for five games each time, we all know there's a solid chance this is a 2014 playoff preview, as well.

Today's four-game finale matches Detroit's Rick Porcello (7-2, 3.88) against Oakland's Jesse Chavez (4-2, 2.61), and it could be another pitchers' duel like last night. Or it could be a matchup like Tuesday, when Max Scherzer and Sonny Gray both were ripped a bit by the opposing offense, respectively.

This is what is so wonderful about the Tigers and the A's: you just don't know what you're going to get with these two when they face each other. Yes, Detroit has emerged victorious in both ALDS matchups the last few Octobers, but anyone who watched the games knows Oakland was close to winning both times.

It would be an early moral victory for the A's to take this series today, mostly because it's at the Coliseum. Oakland has lost an ALDS Game Five here five times since 2000, including both 2012 and 2013 to the Tigers, and the A's are not playing their best at home yet this year.

With a mere 14-11 record in front of the home crowd, Oakland isn't playing at the level here they played at in 2012 and 2013, when the club won a combined 102 games (that's a .630 win percentage at home, by the way) at the Coliseum.

So the A's could send a message to Detroit that this stadium is theirs, while also entering the weekend series against division rival Los Angeles on a mini-roll -- they just need to win again today.

But against the Tigers, that's never easy (unless Detroit has been sitting around idle for a week waiting to play the World Series, of course -- ask the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals or the 2012 San Francisco Giants just how easy dem Tiggerz was).

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