The Tigers were down 4-3 in the top half of the eighth when Victor Martinez hit an opposite-field home run just out of the reach of Josh Reddick to tie the game. Austin Jackson later singled in Andy Dirks to give Detroit its first lead of the game.
“Max is a strikeout guy, and that’s what you’re look for, obviously, early in the situation,” Tigers skipper Jim Leyland said. “If you can get the first two guys on strikes, that’s huge, which is what he did. That’s what you’re looking for.
“I hated to load him up, but Smith has been so hot and Max is a strikeout guy, so you take your shot.”
The Tigers scored three more runs in the ninth to seal the victory.
Game 5 is set for Thursday in Oakland. Justin Verlander takes the mound for Detroit and will square off against Sonny Gray.
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