- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Athletics manager Bob Melvin issued a pregame message to his slumping team to grind out at-bats rather look for home runs.

Fortunately for the A’s, the players didn’t exactly follow that advice.

Kyle Blanks homered in his home debut at the Coliseum, Derek Norris capped Oakland’s five-homer day with a grand slam and the A’s snapped a four-game skid with a 10-0 win Monday over the Detroit Tigers.

“We’ve shown that we can hit some home runs, and we did that today,” Melvin said. “But over the last couple of days we wanted to impress upon, pass the baton, make guys work, get in good counts. … It just turned out that we hit some homers today.”

Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson each hit their 12th home run and Yoenis Cespedes also went deep for the A’s, who broke out of their slump by getting homers from five players for the first time since 2009.

That backed another strong start from Tommy Milone (3-3), who allowed four hits in 6 2-3 innings to improve to 3-0 with a 1.03 ERA in his past four starts after making an adjustment to shorten his stride.

“I think it’s really helped with my command,” Milone said. “I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve seen from before and now is command with the fastball and keeping everything low in the zone.”

Drew Smyly (2-3) allowed a career-worst four home runs for the Tigers, who have lost seven of eight.

“It was like, is this really happening?” Smyly said. “I felt good and I felt like I was making good pitches. Then I’d just leave one up, home run. Leave the next one up, home run. Bury the next one, home run.”

Oakland returned home mired in its worst losing streak of the season, having scored seven runs in the four losses to Tampa Bay and Toronto.

That led to the pregame message to take the “slow torture” approach of grinding out at-bats rather than the “instant kill” of a home run that ends a rally rather than starts one.

“Homers can be rally killers but when you end up hitting four or five of them on the day you can probably make a different statement,” Norris said.

Oakland responded with homers from five players for the first time since Jack Cust, Kurt Suzuki, Mark Ellis, Daric Barton and Cliff Pennington did it Sept. 11, 2009, at Minnesota.

That helped the A’s win the first meeting of the year against the team that eliminated them in Game 5 of the division series the past two postseasons.

After squandering a prime scoring chance in the first inning when Oakland put runners on first and third with no outs, the A’s got to Smyly with the long ball.

Story Continues →