DETROIT — Al Alburquerque reached out and snagged a sharp grounder to the mound – then planted a little kiss on the ball before tossing it to first.

The relieved reliever gave his Detroit teammates a reason to laugh in ninth inning of a tight game. Moments later, the Tigers were celebrating.

Don Kelly scored the tying run on a wild pitch in the eighth, then hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth that lifted the Tigers over the Oakland Athletics 5-4 Sunday for a 2-0 lead in their AL playoff series.

Detroit overcame three A's leads and seesawed to victory. It was 1-all before a wild final three innings that included a key error by Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp, two game-tying wild pitches and several momentum changes.

Alburquerque kept it tied in the ninth when he got Yoenis Cespedes to hit a comebacker with men on first and third and two outs. He gave the ball a quick smooch before throwing underhand to first.

"I just did it," he said. "It was the emotion of the game. I wasn't trying to be a hot dog."

Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick wasn't thrilled.

"We didn't appreciate that. I thought it was immature and not very professional," Reddick said. "You don't do that on the field. Save it for the dugout. That's all I'm going to say."

Detroit will go for a sweep of the division series matchup in Game 3 on Tuesday at Oakland.

Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera doubled twice for the Tigers, hit a fly ball that Crisp dropped for two runs and later singled in the ninth.

It was the sixth straight postseason loss for the A's, all to Detroit. The Tigers swept Oakland in the 2006 AL championship series, winning the series on Magglio Ordonez's homer in Game 4 – which was Detroit's last sudden-death postseason win before Sunday.

Omar Infante and Cabrera hit back-to-back singles off Grant Balfour with one out in the ninth. With runners on first and third, Prince Fielder was intentionally walked, bringing up Kelly, who had stayed in the game as the designated hitter after pinch-running the previous inning.

"Was looking for a fastball and I got it," Kelly said. "It's a great feeling, to be able to go out there in that situation and do that."

Kelly's fly to right was plenty deep enough to score Infante without a play at the plate. It was another big playoff moment for Kelly, who hit a home run last year when the Tigers beat the New York Yankees in the decisive fifth game of the division series.

A favorite of manager Jim Leyland, Kelly hit .186 during the regular season but made the postseason roster as a pinch-running option who can also play any position in the field.

"It takes everybody to contribute and we got contributions from everybody," Leyland said.

Alburquerque missed most of the season after offseason surgery on his throwing elbow. He came on to face Cespedes with the Tigers in a jam, and that one out was enough to earn him the win.

And the right-hander entertained his teammates in the process with a bit of, um, comic relief.

"We were cracking up in the dugout," Detroit pitcher Max Scherzer said. "We were like, `Did he really just kiss the ball?' ... Alburquerque does some crazy things on the mound."

It was tied at 4 after both teams made their share of mistakes in the seventh and eighth. Cliff Pennington gave the A's the lead with an RBI single in the seventh, but Crisp dropped Cabrera's two-out flyball in the bottom half, allowing two runs to score.

Oakland tied it in the eighth on a wild pitch by Joaquin Benoit, and Reddick followed with a solo homer to give the A's a 4-3 lead. Then it was Ryan Cook's turn to throw a tying wild pitch, allowing Kelly to score.

Pennington nearly came through again for Oakland in the ninth, but his deep drive down the left-field line was just foul.

"We just need to win a game," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "If you start thinking about three games ahead, you lose your focus on Tuesday's game."

On a drizzly day at Comerica Park, the Tigers and A's were sloppy with the game on the line.

With runners on first and second and two out in the seventh, Cabrera lifted a fly to center. Crisp, charging hard, tried to make a basket catch but bobbled the ball. He nearly recovered to make a falling grab, but the ball popped out of his glove and the Tigers took a 3-2 lead.

"I saw it come off the heel of my glove, and I tried to grab again," Crisp said. "I even went for it barehanded, but I couldn't get it."

Cespedes led off the eighth with a single and stole second and third. With one out and the infield in, Benoit threw a wild pitch to allow the tying run. The worst was still to come for the Detroit reliever, who allowed Reddick's homer to right that put Oakland ahead 4-3.

Reddick had struck out in all six at-bats in the series before that.

Oakland again gave up the lead immediately. The A's have taken the lead four times in this series, but on each occasion they failed to hold it through the bottom half of the inning.

Doug Fister allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings for Detroit, striking out eight. Rookie Tommy Milone was impressive for the A's, allowing a run and five hits in six innings. He struck out six.

Fister gave the A's trouble early with his slow, sweeping breaking ball, but Oakland hit four singles in the third. Crisp's slow roller to third turned into an infield hit when Cabrera threw wide to first. Stephen Drew struck out looking – and had words for plate umpire Mark Wegner – but Cespedes followed with a run-scoring single.

Oakland nearly scored again on a single to right by Brandon Moss, but rookie Avisail Garcia threw Crisp out at home.

The A's showed frustration with the plate umpire during Game 1, and that spilled over to Sunday. Reddick struck out looking for the third out of the third and threw his bat away immediately. Wegner took off his mask and stared at the Oakland hitter as he headed back toward the dugout, but the situation didn't escalate.

Cabrera hit a one-out double in the bottom of the third – to the same spot in left-center as his double in the first. He went to third on a single by Fielder and scored on a dribbler by Delmon Young that was too slow to be a double play.

Milone retired 10 in a row, starting with Young's RBI groundout.

NOTES: Balfour was charged with the loss. ... Oakland has struck out 23 times in the first two games. ... Benoit allowed 14 homers during the regular season, easily his most since 2004, when he spent some time as a starter. ... The A's are hoping LHP Brett Anderson is healthy enough to start Game 3 against Anibal Sanchez. Anderson missed the last couple weeks of the regular season because of a strained right oblique.

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  • Coco Crisp, Gerald Laird

    Oakland Athletics' Coco Crisp is tagged out by Detroit Tigers catcher Gerald Laird (9) trying to score from second on teammate Brandon Moss' single to right during the third inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Josh Reddick

    Oakland Athletics' Josh Reddick walks back as Detroit Tigers catcher Gerald Laird throws back to the mound after striking out during the second inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Josh Reddick

    Oakland Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick makes the catch on the ball hit by Detroit Tigers designated hitter Delmon Young during the second inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Andy Dirks, Cliff Pennington

    Detroit Tigers' Andy Dirks safely slides under the tag of Oakland Athletics shortstop Cliff Pennington (2) during the second inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Prince Fielder

    Detroit Tigers' Prince Fielder singles to left during the third inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series against the Oakland Athletics, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Delmon Young, Brandon Moss

    Detroit Tigers designated hitter Delmon Young, left, is tagged out by Oakland Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss (37), allowing teammate Miguel Cabrera to score from third, during the third inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Coco Crisp, Gerald Laird

    Oakland Athletics' Coco Crisp prepares to slide home trying to score from second on teammate Brandon Moss' single to right as as Detroit Tigers catcher Gerald Laird waits for the throwt during the third inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. Crisp was called out on the play. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Stephen Drew, Mark Wegner

    Oakland Athletics' Stephen Drew, left, talks with home plate umpire Mark Wegner after striking out during the third inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

  • Coco Crisp, Gerald Laird

    Oakland Athletics' Coco Crisp is tagged out by Detroit Tigers catcher Gerald Laird (9) trying to score from second on teammate Brandon Moss' single to right during the third inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

  • Cliff Pennington

    Oakland Athletics' Cliff Pennington scores during the third inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Josh Reddick, Coco Crisp

    Oakland Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp, right, backs up right fielder Josh Reddick (16) who catches a fly-out from Detroit Tigers designated hitter Delmon Young during the sixth inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Coco Crisp

    Oakland Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp bobbles a hit by Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera allowing Tigers' Austin Jackson and Omar Infante to score during the seventh inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Austin Jackson, Omar Infante

    Detroit Tigers' Omar Infante is met at homeplate by teammate Austin Jackson after both scored on a fielding error by Oakland Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp during the seventh inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Coco Crisp

    Oakland Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp bobbles a hit by Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera allowing Tigers' Austin Jackson and Omar Infante to score during the seventh inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Coco Crisp

    Oakland Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp bobbles a hit by Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera allowing Tigers' Austin Jackson and Omar Infante to score during the seventh inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Josh Reddick

    Oakland Athletics' Josh Reddick rounds third base after a solo homerun during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

  • Joaquin Benoit

    Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit throws during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series against the Oakland Athletics, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

  • Josh Reddick, Gerald Laird

    Oakland Athletics' Josh Reddick (16) signals for teammate Yoenis Cespedes to run from third as Detroit Tigers catcher Gerald Laird chases a wild pitch during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • \Yoenis Cespedes, Joaquin Benoit

    Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes scores in front of Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit from third on a wild pitch during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Josh Reddick

    Oakland Athletics' Josh Reddick runs to first as he follows his home run to right field during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Josh Reddick

    Oakland Athletics' Josh Reddick is congratulated at home plate by teammate Josh Donaldson after his home run to right field during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Ryan Cook

    Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Ryan Cook (48) reacts after striking out Detroit Tigers' Alex Avila during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Ryan Cook

    Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Ryan Cook throws during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

  • Don Kelly, Alex Avila

    Detroit Tigers' pinch runner Don Kelly, right, is met at the dugout by teammate Alex Avila after scoring on a wild pitch by Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Ryan Cook during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the American League division baseball series, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)