Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Athletics rookie Sonny Gray matched 2011 AL Cy Young Award winner and MVP Justin Verlander in a pitching duel, and Oakland squeaked out the game's only run in the bottom of the ninth inning to even its American League Division Series with the Tigers.
Stephen Vogt delivered the game-winning single off Rick Porcello to give the A's the 1-0 victory in Game 2 of the series.
The sixth rookie in Oakland history to start a postseason game, Gray piled up nine strikeouts over eight innings. The 23-year-old right-hander gave up four hits and a pair of walks.
Verlander had 11 strikeouts over his seven-inning effort.
The A's bounced back from a 3-2 loss Friday.
Game 3 of this best-of-five series is Monday afternoon in Detroit.
Yoenis Cespedes singled to left field off Al Alburquerque (0-1) to start the bottom of the ninth. Seth Smith then lined a base hit to right past a leaning Prince Fielder at first base. Josh Reddick was intentionally walked. Porcello then came in, but Vogt lined a ball past the outstretched glove of shortstop Jose Iglesias into left-center field.
The Tigers have been blanked in the last 17 innings.
Verlander, who won Games 1 and 5 last year in the ALDS against the A's, was masterful early. He had seven strikeouts over the first four innings.
Gray, who threw 111 pitches, six less than Verlander, was equal to the task. Gray, the fourth pitcher in Oakland history under the age of 24 to start a postseason game, worked out of trouble in the second inning. With men on first and second, he retired Iglesias on a force play.
The Tigers put men at the corners with one out in the fifth, but Gray fanned Austin Jackson and Iglesias was thrown out trying to steal second on the same play.
Eric Sogard struck out swinging to cap the bottom of the fifth, when the A's left a pair on base.
The A's had two men in scoring position in the seventh, but Vogt struck out to cap the frame.
Both teams had a runner in scoring position in the eighth. Gray caught Jackson looking at strike three, and Torii Hunter popped out. In the bottom half, Alburquerque put out the fire. Pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo doubled to the left-field corner, and Drew Smyly walked Jed Lowrie with one out. Alburquerque struck out Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss.
Grant Balfour (1-0) retired the side in order in the top of the ninth.