Angels hit 5 HRs to pull away from Tigers
ANAHEIM -- The Angels got a season-high five home runs from five different players -- Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, Matt Joyce, Carlos Perez and Albert Pujols -- to beat the Tigers, 8-6, for a third straight night Saturday at Angel Stadium.
Detroit starter Shane Greene surrendered all five of the long balls in the shortest start of his young career -- a 1 2/3-inning, seven-run shelling. The last home run, a three-run jack by Pujols, put an early end to Greene's night.
"We're expecting to score runs," Trout said. "The last couple of games, we've been swinging the bat well. … If we stay right there, and go from there, we're gonna win ballgames."
Angels starter Jered Weaver was far from perfect, allowing three runs -- a home run of his own to Yoenis Cespedes, an RBI double to Miguel Cabrera and a sacrifice fly to Nick Castellanos -- on nine hits, but the veteran right-hander had plenty of room to work with in his 6 1/3 innings.
"We've got a pretty good lineup," Weaver said. "Obviously, it's been hit-and-miss a little bit, but these guys are proven hitters, and they showed that tonight. And it was nice to have that cushion to be able to go out there and fill up the zone."
The Tigers got two runs in the eighth inning off Angels reliever Fernando Salas, but Joe Smith, whose availability was in question because of a neck issue, was able to come in and get the final out of the inning before giving way to closer Huston Street, who allowed a solo homer to Ian Kinsler but recorded his 16th save.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Pujols blast caps Halos' slugfest: Pujols' three-run homer deep into the left-field seats gave the Angels a 7-1 lead and knocked Greene out of the game in the second inning. It was the veteran slugger's third straight game with a homer. He's now up to 11 homers and 23 RBIs, and he's 9-for-23 (.391) on the Angels' current homestand.
"He swung the bat well all night," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "[His groin] doesn't really hurt him swinging the bat. If he has to DH for a while, so be it. We need Albert in the middle of our lineup, and you see why tonight." More >
Five homers, five outs: Though Greene had cooled off from his stellar start to the season, when he allowed one earned run over his first 23 innings, he had generally kept the ball in the park. That went out the window as the Angels kept sending his pitches out of the park, five of them in 12 batters. Greene became the first Major League pitcher since at least 1914 to surrender five homers while recording five outs or fewer, according to baseball-reference.com.
"I think he was just up middle [in the strike zone]," manager Brad Ausmus said. "Really, when things go bad for him, the fastball's up, it doesn't sink as much. You don't usually see home runs like that as a result. They might string together some hits. But I don't know that I've seen home runs like that happen that quickly." More >
Weaver keeps his cushion: Staked to a 7-1 lead after Pujols' home run, Weaver gave back a run in both the third and the fourth innings. It could have been more, though. Weaver allowed back-to-back singles to open the third with the middle of the Tigers' order coming up. But he got Kinsler to bounce into a third-to-first double play, erasing two runners from the bases, right before Cabrera stroked a double to left that could have plated multiple runs.
"The boys came out swinging, I was able to get some runs, and it was nice to pitch with a lead like that," Weaver said. "I tried to go out there and pitch to contact as much as possible, and they were able to get some hits together, but I was able to maneuver my way out of some situations and limit the damage."
Beats milking cows for a living: One night after Alex Wilson appeared in the Angels' pregame cow-milking contest, he had the tougher task of rescuing the Tigers' bullpen after Greene's disastrous outing. Wilson retired all 11 batters he faced, the longest perfect outing by a Tigers reliever since Drew Smyly tossed four such innings on April 5, 2013.
"Everybody is immediately on edge," Wilson said. "I took the ball when it was my turn, tried to get some quick outs and let my offense work."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Cespedes' first-inning solo shot was the Tigers' first home run off Weaver since Carlos Guillen took him deep and stared him down at Comerica Park on July 31, 2011. That was the game in which Weaver had words with Magglio Ordonez for standing at home plate to watch his home run down the left-field line.
Ausmus was hoping to build a first-inning rally off of Cabrera's two-out hit, but he lost his replay challenge of an inning-ending out at second base. Replays confirmed Johnny Giavotella tagged Cabrera's foot before it reached the base.
Tigers: David Price's attempt at a fourth straight win will also be the Tigers' attempt to avoid what would be their first four-game series sweep at Angel Stadium since 1996. Detroit has won each of Price's last six starts. Sunday night's first pitch at Angel Stadium is at 8:05 p.m. CT/5:05 p.m. PT.
Angels: Matt Shoemaker will get the ball in Sunday night's finale, trying to build on his May 26 start against the Padres, when he rebounded from giving up eight runs the week before in Toronto and pitched seven shutout innings.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.