That didn't take long. In the top of the third inning, Tigers rookie Avisail Garcia announced his presence with authority. With runners on first and second and just one out, and the A's having already grabbed a 1-0 lead, Brandon Moss shot a single into right field. With Coco Crisp sprinting around third base, Garcia fielded the baseball and unleashed a perfect throw home, where Gerald Laird applied the tag just in time to nab Crisp. That saved at least one run, as Doug Fister then escaped more damage by striking out Josh Reddick to end the inning.
Garcia, already famous for his resemblance to fellow Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera, started only 11 games for the Tigers during the regular season. He opened the season in Class A, and finished his minor-league campaign in Double-A before getting the call to the big club in September.
Garcia's stock rose a ton during the season, as last spring he was listed by Baseball America as just the Tigers' 10th-best prospect. It's not clear that he's ready to hit well in the majors, but his defense is there already. As Baseball America noted, "He has the physical ability to be a plus defender in right field, running well for his size and possessing an arm that earns 70 grades on the 20-80 scouting scale."
In the bottom of the third, Miguel Cabrera hit his second double of the game, moved to third on Prince Fielder's single to left field, and scored on a fielder's-choice grounder. Tommy Milone did strike out Jhonny Peralta to retire the side, so after three innings we're deadlocked: Athletics 1, Tigers 1.