know that if they both start hitting more consistently, it could do a lot for Oakland's chances heading into the second half.
Giambi and Cust broke out of funks with two-run homers,
ended a four-start winless stretch and the Athletics beat the
5-1 on Wednesday.
''Hopefully we'll start to get hot,'' Giambi said. ''Hopefully it's coming around. I've been kind of waiting.''
So have the A's faithful, accustomed to Giambi's powerful stroke during his first stint with the franchise from 1995-01. He
won the AL MVP in 2000 with a career-best 43 home runs, then left for the
New York Yankees
after the '01 season.
Giambi's drive in the sixth off
(8-4) was home run No. 407, tying him with
for 43rd place. The 38-year-old Giambi, who has been dealing with sore legs and entered the game with an American League-low
.197 batting average, was in a 2-for-28 stretch before the homer after striking out in his first two at-bats.
Cust struck out in the second - his 80th of the year - before connecting with two outs in the fourth for his team-leading
14th homer. That put Oakland ahead 2-1. He had been 4-for-24 with 13 strikeouts in his previous seven games.
''It'd be big, obviously,'' Cust said of getting improved production from him and Giambi. ''The more guys you have going in
your lineup the better you're going to be. His average isn't where he wants it to be. My average isn't where I want it to
hit an RBI double in the second for the AL Central-leading Tigers, who had won nine of 12 but were punchless in the series
Braden (6-7) pitched seven strong innings to win for the first time in five starts since beating Baltimore on June 5. He had
gone 0-2 during the winless stretch.
each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
''I thought we looked a little sluggish and a little tired,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ''We didn't do too much. Hopefully
a day off will perk them up a bit.''
Verlander allowed runners in all but two of his six innings. The hard-throwing right-hander allowed six hits and four runs,
struck out six and walked one. He reviewed tape of the home runs and thought they were good pitches, saying, ''So I can't
be too disappointed.''
had two of those hits. He extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a first-inning single, then added another in the third.
His hitting streak is the longest by the A's this season and one away from matching his career high, accomplished in 2003
Oakland bounced back with a winning series following a five-game losing streak that included getting swept at home by the
''It's nice to see the hits come when we really needed them,'' Braden said. ''It's a great turnaround. This is the kind of
baseball we know we can play.''
The A's avoided falling 13 games under .500 for the first time this season. They won for only the second time in eight games
and for just the fourth time in their last 12 games at the Coliseum. Oakland went 3-6 on this homestand.
added an RBI double for Oakland in the eighth and
also had a double in his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Monday.
The Tigers are 15-6 against the AL West this season, including 4-2 versus the A's. The clubs face off again next month in
Oakland for their last three meetings of 2009.
NOTES: A's 2B
will join the team late Friday in Cleveland. He is staying back in the Bay Area during Thursday's off day for the birth of
his second child, a girl, with wife Sara. ... Cust struck out again in the eighth, his 81st of the year. ... Giambi came in
1-for-16 against the Tigers this season. ... Cabrera hasn't walked during his hitting streak, the second-longest such stretch
in Oakland history. ... Detroit is 20-8 in day games. ... Oakland manager
plans to rest starting C Suzuki more regularly in the second half and give backup
additional starts. ... Verlander was called for his third balk of the year, matching a career high. He has a 5.47 ERA over
his last four starts.