Gray’s curveball had less break and he never found the same groove that carried him in his playoff debut. It was a breezy Bay Area night and 19 degrees cooler at first pitch than the 82 degrees in a game starting an hour later Saturday night.
This marks another disappointing exit for the low-budget A’s, who have baseball’s 27th smallest payroll at $71.1 million after having the lowest at $59.5 million last year.
Both managers tweaked their lineups, most notably in the middle infield with Peralta back at shortstop for Detroit and the A’s Alberto Callaspo playing second base in his first career postseason start.
Peralta, who served a 50-game suspension until late September for his ties to the Biogenesis clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs, hit a three-run homer in Game 4 to help extend Detroit’s season.