DETROIT - Detroit manager Jim Leyland had his head on a swivel, looking at reporters when they asked a question one moment and glancing up toward the TV in his office with Kansas City leading Chicago when it got quiet.
"If I didn't have this on, I might as well go home," Leyland said.
The Tigers improved their chances of sticking around beyond the regular season Wednesday night when Miguel Cabrera homered, Omar Infante drove in three runs, and Justin Verlander pitched six scoreless innings to help them beat the Athletics 6-2 .
The Royals later helped out with a 3-0 win over the White Sox that trimmed their lead to two games over Detroit in the AL Central with 14 games remaining.
The Tigers have won two straight over the A's - and 28 of their last 36 games at home.
"We played a couple good games against one of the hottest teams in all of baseball," Leyland said. "That's pretty good."
Oakland, clinging to an AL wild card spot, has dropped three straight and might have had a costly loss on the mound because Brett Anderson (4-2) left the game after two-plus innings with a strained right oblique.
People are also reading…
"He's getting an MRI right now," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "So, we won't know anything until he gets back."
The A's forced Justin Verlander (15-8) to throw 122 pitches.
Detroit played small ball - including two bunt singles - in the third to take a 3-0 lead.
The Tigers went long ball in the seventh.
Cabrera led off with his 41st home run and 130th RBI to bolster his shot at being baseball's first Triple Crown winner since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski pulled off the feat in 1967.
"It's something that is a dream," Cabrera said. "But right now, I got to focus on trying to help us make the playoffs."
Verlander said it has been "unbelievable" to watch Cabrera this season.
"Obviously, he's got my support for MVP," the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young award winner. "He's one home run away from the Triple Crown, and that's a rarity in baseball."