DETROIT -- What looked like a key Tigers victory in a series rubber game became an Angels comeback with one big inning and a runaway with another. Danny Espinosa drove in three runs and C.J. Cron and Andrelton Simmons added two RBIs each as the Angels overcame a three-run deficit
DETROIT -- What looked like a key Tigers victory in a series rubber game became an Angels comeback with one big inning and a runaway with another. Danny Espinosa drove in three runs and C.J. Cron and Andrelton Simmons added two RBIs each as the Angels overcame a three-run deficit for an 11-4 win Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.
"You get momentum and it takes the pressure off when you're able to get a balanced attack from one through nine," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I thought everybody in the lineup had good at-bats all day."
The Angels won a road series for the first time since taking two of three at Texas at the end of April. They've won 10 of their last 15 games in Detroit. The Tigers fell back under .500 at 29-30, and they have gone three weeks since they last held a winning record.
Detroit had a 4-1 lead after three innings and Michael Fulmer rolling through four, having retired 12 of 15 batters. Six hits and a sacrifice fly changed the course of the game, sending Fulmer (6-4) to his second straight loss and his earliest exit this season. A six-run seventh inning off Arcenio Leon and Daniel Stumpf put the game away.
"When [Fulmer] made a mistake, we hit it hard," Scioscia said. "And that's something we haven't been doing at times when we've been a little challenged to score some runs. But today, when there was a pitch that was hittable, we hit it hard and put it in play."
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JC Ramirez (6-4) yielded four runs on 10 hits over five innings, but he earned the win for the Halos. Nicholas Castellanos fell a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with his sixth home run of the season in a losing effort. Each team had 15 hits.
"It's unfortunate. I feel like I let the team down," Fulmer said. "The offense did their job, the defense did their job, but ultimately you've just got to tip your cap to those guys."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Halo effect: The Angels piled up one hit after another to take a one-run lead and chase Fulmer with one out in the fifth. Eric Young (three hits, three runs scored) led off with a double, followed by four straight singles, a sacrifice fly and another single. The Angels had just three baserunners before their breakout inning.
"Just being persistent," Young said of the big frame. "That's the beauty of this game. Any time, anything can click."
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Super-utility player saves the inning: Whatever hopes Detroit harbored for a comeback came courtesy of two sparkling defensive plays to end the fifth inning. Ian Kinsler ran down a foul ball for a lunging catch in front of the tarp, but Andrew Romine provided the highlight with an outstretched diving grab of Ben Revere's drive into the gap in left-center field. Romine took an inefficient route, according to Statcast™, covering 62 feet when he needed just 53, but he made up for it with his dive.
"Some days, whatever you throw, they can hit. I feel like I made some good pitches, I made some bad pitches, and they hit both of them." -- Fulmer
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Castellanos' effort was the 78th time that a Tigers player has fallen a triple shy of the cycle at Comerica Park since it opened in 2000, and the first time for Castellanos. Manager Brad Ausmus did it twice for Detroit, both in 2000.
Angels:Matthew Shoemaker (5-3, 4.12 ERA) gets the nod for the Angels in Houston on Friday at 5:10 p.m. PT as they continue their six-game road trip. Shoemaker is 0-2 with seven earned runs allowed in two starts against the Astros this season, but he has pitched better of late.
Tigers: A quick three-game weekend road trip to Boston begins with Jordan Zimmermann (5-4, 5.98) on the mound Friday night, trying to build on the six innings of one-run ball he posted in his last start. First pitch is 7:10 p.m. ET.
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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.
Jordan Horrobin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Angels on Thursday.