ANAHEIM -- Matthew Shoemaker tossed six scoreless innings and Luis Valbuena and Michael Trout homered to lead the Angels to a 7-0 win over the Tigers on Friday night, evening their four-game series at Angel Stadium.
Shoemaker, a Michigan native, continued his string of success against his hometown team, limiting the Tigers to three hits, while walking one and striking out seven. The 30-year-old right-hander now is now 3-1 with a 0.83 ERA in five career starts against Detroit.
"That looks like Shoe when he's on," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He was aggressive from the first pitch. That's a good team. You miss your spots, they're going to let you know. He pitched a good six innings."
Valbuena and Cliff Pennington produced three hits apiece to help back Shoemaker's strong outing. Pennington, who has received more playing time at second base due to Danny Espinosa's 0-for-34 slump, added two RBIs and now has eight hits in his last 21 at-bats (.381).
Trout capped the Angels' big night by crushing his ninth home run of the season, a two-run shot to left-center off Anibal Sanchez in the eighth that traveled a projected 430 feet -- his longest blast of the season, according to Statcast™. It was Trout's first hit since returning to the lineup Thursday after a five-game absence due to left hamstring tightness.
"The last two games, I was just missing pitches," said Trout, who snapped an 0-for-8 drought with the homer. "I hit some balls hard, just getting under some and just not falling in. Obviously, that last one at the end felt good."
Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann allowed five runs on 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings, bumping his ERA to 6.28 over seven starts this season. Zimmermann was hit hard, but also fell victim to a few tough-luck plays.
"I'm still making mistakes, don't get me wrong, but I'm getting a little unlucky too along the way," Zimmermann said. "Some of these hard-hit balls [have] got to go at guys. Hopefully that changes next time out."
J.D. Martinez, who was activated from the disabled list Friday after missing the first 33 games with a ligament strain in his right foot, went 1-for-3 and also made a defensive gaffe in right field in his season debut. In the fifth, Martinez went to field a single by Valbuena, but he misplayed the ball, allowing Yunel Escobar to score from first and extending the Halos' lead to 4-0.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Shoemaker navigates treacherous waters: Shoemaker tumbled into a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second after Victor Martinez doubled, Justin Upton walked and J.D. Martinez singled to open the inning. But the Tigers couldn't capitalize on the golden scoring opportunity. Alex Avila struck out for the first out, and Andrew Romine hit a grounder to first baseman Valbuena, who threw to catcher Martin Maldonado to get the forceout at home. Jose Iglesias then lifted a flyout to left field, allowing Shoemaker to escape the inning unscathed. More >
"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."
"It certainly stung," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "It would have been nice to get on the board there, but Shoemaker has had our number for whatever reason."
Valbuena's blast sparks the Halos: After the Tigers were unable to score in the top of the second, Valbuena gave the Angels a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the inning by hammering a high fastball from Zimmermann to right field for a solo home run. It was Valbuena's second homer of the season and his first at Angel Stadium.
"I was so happy because I'm not looking for that pitch right there, but he threw it to me right there," Valbuena said. "That ball was gone."
The Angels continued to threaten after Valbuena's homer, loading the bases with no outs on singles by Kole Calhoun and Andrelton Simmons a walk by Cameron Maybin. Pennington expanded their lead to 2-0 by knocking in Simmons from third with a one-out infield single, but Zimmermann then induced an inning-ending double play from Escobar to minimize the damage.
"Shoemaker has kind of stuck it to us since I've been here. 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." -- Ausmus.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Opposing hitters have now hit eight home runs against Zimmermann's four-seam fastball this season; that's the most any Major League pitcher has yielded on four-seamers. More >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the second inning, Pennington was initially called out at first after he hit a high chopper that was fielded by Zimmermann. But the Angels successfully challenged the ruling after replay showed that Pennington's foot had touched the bag before Zimmermann's throw reached first baseman Jose Cabrera's glove and the call was overturned.
Tigers: Southpaw Daniel Norris will start for the Tigers in Game 3 at 9:07 p.m. ET on Saturday. Norris gave up five runs on eight hits his last time out, a no-decision in Oakland last weekend.
Angels: Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (2-2, 4.31 ERA) will take the mound for the Angels in the third game of the four-game series against the Tigers on Saturday at 6:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. In nine career starts against Detroit, Nolasco is 2-4 with a 4.09 ERA.
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