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10/12/06 1:30 AM ET

Athletics Short Hops: Game 2

Club in a deep hole after Loaiza is unable to hold Tigers down

OAKLAND -- Fielding the A's Game 2 loss to the Tigers on a short hop ...

In < 25 words...
Esteban Loaiza was roughed up for seven runs over six innings and the A's lost, 8-5, against Detroit in Game 2 of the ALCS.

Frozen moment
With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth, Alexis Gomez hit a grounder in between third and short that looked like a potential double-play ball for Gold Glove third baseman Eric Chavez. But the ball flicked off Chavez's glove and bounced away from shortstop Marco Scutaro. Instead of the inning being over, the Tigers scored two runs on the play and four runs in the inning.

Big number
Three. Frank Thomas fanned three times against the Tigers on Wednesday and is 0-for-7 in the first two games of the ALCS. Since hitting two homers in the Game 1 of the AL Division Series, Thomas has two hits in his last 13 at-bats.

Game ball
Milton Bradley started off the postseason with no hits in his first two games against the Twins in the ALDS. But he hit two no-doubt homers on Wednesday and kept the game close for the A's.

Sense of October
Losing the first two games at Oakland puts the A's in a very tough spot going into Detroit. Their two veteran pitchers couldn't handle the Tigers' aggressive lineup and that means the two young right-handers, Rich Harden and Dan Haren, will be asked to keep Oakland's chances alive for the American League pennant.

Lines of the Game
Mark Kotsay
4 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 2 2B, 1 BB
Comment: Kotsay pounded two doubles in his first two at-bats against Justin Verlander and scored each time.

Esteban Loaiza
6 IP, 7 R, 9 H, 1 BB, 5 Ks
Comment: Loaiza could have used a little better defense behind him in the fourth, but the two-run homer he gave up to Gomez in the sixth proved to be the difference-maker. Loaiza's last loss at home came against the Blue Jays on July 28 and he left two many balls up in the zone against the aggressive Tigers.

"We need a starter to step up and shut down their offense."
-- Chavez

Next step
The A's will need a strong outing from Harden in Game 3 at Detroit on Friday in order to climb back into the series.

Ryan Quinn is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.