Daric Barton: stretch-run difference maker?

It would be an unlikely turn of events but the once-fallen-from-favor A's first baseman was recalled Monday and helped fuel Oakland's 8-6 victory over the American League's top team the Tigers. The A's remain 2 1/2 games behind Texas in the AL West and moved 1 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay for the top AL wild-card spot. Cleveland is two games behind the A's for the second wild-card spot.

"For me to be back here shows that anything can happen" Barton said. "The odds weren't in my favor but I gave myself an opportunity and I'm happy to be here happy to be in the race and I'm hoping to help this team win."

"A big night for him - and much needed for us to get that kind of contribution" A's manager Bob Melvin said after the win.

In his first game with the A's since May 17 the twice-outrighted Barton had two RBI singles and Coco Crisp continued his roll - the A's center fielder is 10 for his past 21 with four homers in five games. Alberto Callaspo also had a nice night with a walk and two hits and Nate Freiman came off the bench to single and score a sprawling run in the sixth.

All that offense was a boon to Oakland starter A.J. Griffin; the stats going into the game showed where this might go with Griffin leading the majors in homers allowed and Detroit's Miguel Cabrera second in the league in hitting them. Griffin gave up two Monday to up his total to 32: Omar Infante hit a two-run shot in the second and Cabrera a two-run opposite-field drive in the fifth his 43rd.

"I was trying to go off the plate there get him to chase" Griffin said of the slider. "It caught the corner a little bit and he's uh pretty good."

Griffin has allowed two or more homers in 12 of his starts this season tying the franchise record set by Catfish Hunter in 1973.