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10/13/06 8:45 PM ET

Athletics Short Hops: Game 3

Club faces must-win situation after third straight loss

DETROIT -- Fielding the A's Game 3 American League Championship Series loss to the Tigers on a short hop ...

In < 25 words ...
The Oakland offense was silent and Rich Harden wasn't sharp enough to offset the gem by Kenny Rogers.

Frozen moment
Harden's first seven pitches of the day were balls, and he wound up giving up two runs in the first inning. In desperate need of a win, and facing a pitcher of Rogers' caliber, the last thing the A's wanted to do was dig an early hole.

Big number
Two. That was how many hits the A's generated in this one.

Game ball
Mark Kotsay. The center fielder made a pair of back-to-back beauties with his glove to keep the game close in the fourth. First, Kotsay made a diving snare on Ramon Santiago's liner. Then he raced to the track to flag down a fly ball off the bat of Curtis Granderson to end the inning and strand Omar Infante on second.

Sense of October
The wind-chill at game time was 29 degrees. If anything, the cold helped take away the home-field advantage, as the roars of the Tigers faithful were at a modest level. Plus, fans don't make as much noise when they clap with gloves on their hands. However, the Oakland bats were even colder and quieter than the crowd.

Lines of the Game
Milton Bradley
4 AB, 0 H, 2 Ks
Comment: After carrying the A's by hitting homers from both sides of the plate in the Game 2 loss, Bradley had the same futility as the rest of his teammates in this one.

5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 4 K
Comment: After a shaky beginning, Harden managed to turn in a respectable performance.

"This series is not over. No one in this locker room thinks it's over and no one in their locker room thinks it's over. They've played probably the best baseball player they've played all year. We just have to turn it around for us." -- Nick Swisher

Next step
The A's must generate some early game momentum in Game 4. They've been playing from behind for nearly the entire series. They also can't think about coming back from 3-0, something only one team has done in baseball history. Instead, the A's need to turn their attention to winning one game and taking it from there.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.