OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Armando Galarraga pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning, and Placido Polanco homered and drove in three runs in the Detroit Tigers' 5-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
Ryan Raburn went 3 for 3 with a run-scoring single for the AL Central-leading Tigers, who have won nine of their last 12 games.
Detroit has been helped by a resurgence from Galarraga (5-7), who has won two straight starts after losing a career-worst seven consecutive decisions since late April. Other than six walks, he had little trouble against the light-hitting A's over 6 1-3 innings.
Mark Ellis hit a two-run homer off Detroit closer Fernando Rodney in the ninth, but the A's have lost six of seven.
Polanco hit a two-run homer in the first and an RBI single in the ninth, improving his career average against Oakland to .389 - tops among all major leaguers against the A's. He also was the MVP of the 2006 AL championship series, when he hit .529 in the Tigers' sweep of Oakland.
Oakland got its only hits off Galarraga in the fourth, when Ryan Sweeney tripled and scored on Jack Cust's single. In the ninth, Ellis homered to left for the second straight night after returning to Oakland's lineup on Sunday following a two-month injury absence.
Gio Gonzalez (0-2) made an unconvincing case for a permanent spot in Oakland's rotation by allowing three runs and seven hits in five innings. The 23-year-old left-hander, who has been called up three times from Triple-A Sacramento this season, has lost back-to-back starts in his latest stint in the big leagues.
Jason Giambi's batting average dipped all the way down to an AL-low .197 when he went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts. The former MVP is in a 12-for-79 slump, going 2 for 21 on the A's current homestand, but he's still batting cleanup for one of the majors' least productive offenses.
After Curtis Granderson led off the game with a four-pitch walk, Polanco hit Gonzalez's seventh pitch into the left-field stands for the veteran second baseman's fourth homer in 10 games.
Marcus Thames and Ryan Raburn then had back-to-back, one-out hits, but Thames ran through a stop sign from third base coach Gene Lamont and got stuck in a rundown, leading to Raburn getting tagged out while standing on third.
Miguel Cabrera doubled and scored on Raburn's single in the third.