It appeared Detroit was in big trouble in the eighth, but Scherzer was able to protect the one-run lead, and the Tigers eventually added to it.
Detroit starter Doug Fister allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings before being relieved by Scherzer, who came back on three days' rest after his victory in Game 1.
Oakland took the series lead with a win in Game 3, and Crisp's leadoff triple Tuesday put the Tigers on their heels again. Detroit brought the infield in — a sign that even one run could be vital — and Crisp scored on Jed Lowrie's one-out single, putting immediate pressure on the Tigers' slumbering offense.
It appeared the Athletics were on their way to the ALCS when Lowrie's two-run homer in the fifth gave Oakland a three-run lead. With slugger Miguel Cabrera still hobbled by injuries, A's rookie Dan Straily held the Tigers hitless until the fifth.
But after a bloop single by Prince Fielder, Martinez grounded a base hit to right. Peralta, who moved from shortstop to left field after returning from his late-season drug suspension, lined one over the wall in left, finally bringing the Comerica Park fans to life.
NOTES: Cabrera hit a sixth-inning single. He's reached base safely in all 28 of his postseason games with the Tigers. ... Detroit had gone seven games without a homer. ... Peralta's homer was the first extra-base hit allowed by Straily since Sept. 7, according to STATS.