OAKLAND -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus sees nothing out of the ordinary with closer Joe Nathan, who said Wednesday night's game turned when John Jaso singled off the glove of third baseman Nick Castellanos ahead of Josh Donaldson's walk-off home run.
"Any time you remove or add a baserunner to the scenario, it changes the game," Ausmus said on Thursday. "One runner on it's the tying run. The second runner becomes the winning run."
In essence, Nathan suggested that allowing Jaso to reach base meant he had to come after Donaldson in the strike zone rather than pick away at the corners.
"Anything can change an inning," Ausmus said. "The way [Jaso's] ball was hit, it appeared to be hit harder than it was. That throws your depth perception off. It's the same thing when an outfielder breaks back first and then has to race in to make a play. In the infield, it comes at you that much quicker."
It was Nathan's fourth blown save of the season, coming one day after he recorded his 12th save in a one-run victory.
"It's relatively typical for a closer," Ausmus said. "It seems like they blow a couple of saves and then have a long run of saves. It always seems to happen that way. I'm not concerned about him."
Nathan allowed two runs in the ninth but held on for his 13th save on Thursday.
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less