ANAHEIM -- Angels right-hander Matthew Shoemaker extended his stretch of dominance against his hometown Tigers on Friday night, firing six shutout innings en route to a 7-0 victory at Angel Stadium.
"Playing against your hometown team, it's a little bit different, but it's a lot of fun," Shoemaker said. "People at home who are diehard Tiger fans [were] saying, 'Hey, we're rooting for you tonight.' That's pretty cool."
Shoemaker, who grew up 30 minutes outside Detroit in Wyandotte, Mich., held the Tigers to three hits while walking one and striking out seven to pick up his second win of the season for the Halos. He is now 3-1 with a 0.83 ERA in five career starts against Detroit, his best mark against any American League team.
"Shoemaker has kind of stuck it to us since I've been here," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "I don't think we've ever hit him, especially in this ballpark. He's just pitched really well against us, and today was no different."
The outing was an encouraging sign for Shoemaker, who had entered Friday with a 5.21 ERA in his first seven starts. Shoemaker faced trouble early against the Tigers, who loaded the bases with no outs in the second, but the 30-year-old managed to bear down and navigate through the peril.
Shoemaker struck out Alex Avila swinging on a splitter for the first out, then coaxed a grounder from Andrew Romine that resulted in a forceout at home. Jose Iglesias followed by flying out to left field, allowing Shoemaker to emerge unscathed.
"You've got to calm yourself down in that situation and just be like 'Hey, we've got to execute and do whatever we can to get out of this,''' Shoemaker said. "And we did it."
Shoemaker said he thought the difference for him Friday was that he pitched with greater aggression and more "intent."
"When you have intent behind every pitch, the ball moves a little bit more, it moves a bit later -- there's more life on the ball," Shoemaker explained. "Kinda going out there and not being passive. … The longer you stick to that mentality, it's better for you."