In Oakland, Lance Parrish's two-run homer backed the five-hit pitching of Detroit's Milt Wilcox and Elias Sosa.
Wilcox (4-2) left the game in the seventh inning when his left leg stiffened after walking two batters and giving up an RBI single to Davey Lopes. Sosa gave up two hits, including a two-run homer to Dan Meyer in the eighth, and earned his fourth save with 2 2/3 innings of work.
The A's took a 1-0 lead in the second when Mike Heath doubled, went to third on a balk and scored on Danny Goodwin's grounder.
Mike Norris (2-5) started for the A's and pitched no-hit ball into the fifth when the Tigers took the lead for good. With one out, Larry Herndon walked and Parrish hit his seventh homer of the season for a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers chased Norris and scored four times against three A's pitchers in the seventh when they batted around. With runners on first and third, Lou Whitaker singled to right for one run. Bob Owchinko replaced Norris, and Tom Brookens doubled to drive in the inning's second run.
After a walk loaded the bases, Tom Underwood replaced Owchinko and got the first two outs of the inning. But Heath's passed ball allowed Whitaker to score, and Kirk Gibson scored Brookens with a squeeze bunt.