DETROIT -- Even without Michael Trout, the Angels continue to make themselves at home in Comerica Park. Kole Calhoun and C.J. Cron homered before the Angels' bullpen held off a Tigers charge at the end for a 5-3 win on Tuesday night.
The Angels are 9-4 at Comerica Park since 2013. Their latest victory ended a four-game Tigers winning streak, sending Detroit back below .500 for the season at 28-29.
"It's different, definitely different," Calhoun said of playing without Trout. "This is my first road trip without him. Feels like someone's missing, for sure."
• Calhoun shows oppo pop with homer
Calhoun's first-inning solo homer and seventh-inning sacrifice fly served as bookends for an Angels arsenal that punished an erratic Daniel Norris (2-4). Calhoun also had a line-drive single that center fielder Alex Presley charged and missed for a run-scoring error.
The support helped Angels starter Jesse Chavez (5-6) earn his first career win over the Tigers in 14 meetings (four starts). The Tigers rallied to put the tying run at the plate or on base three times in the final four innings, loading the bases with two outs in the ninth. With the tying run on second, Bud Norris went to a 3-0 count on Alex Avila before getting a called third strike to end the threat.
"He came back and made two good pitches with his fastball to get back into the count," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Norris. "And those two pitches are big because you throw it down the heart of the plate, the game could be over. You walk him, and you really play with fire with [Jose Cabrera up next]."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cron capitalizes: Norris escaped trouble in a three-walk third inning by retiring Jose Pujols, but the mercurial southpaw paid for two hard hits to begin the fourth. Yunel Escobar led off with a drive over Presley's head in deep center before Cron connected with a slider and sent it a Statcast-projected 428 feet to left, building a 3-0 lead. It clinched just the second multi-homer game off Norris this season.
"Just like anybody, C.J. will get at-bats according to his production," Scioscia said. "There's no doubt since he came back from the Minor Leagues, there's a confidence level, his swings are better and he can give us a big boost if he starts swinging the bat to his capability." More >
Avila leads Tigers back: Chavez settled into a groove after three early hits, stretching his streak to 16 2/3 innings against the Tigers since his last earned run. Once Avila ended that with a solo shot in the sixth, however, Detroit went from a 4-0 deficit to a chance to tie or take the lead by inning's end. Richard Parker stranded runners at the corners, including the potential tying tally, with a Nicholas Castellanos groundout.
"Sometimes you do everything you can and it gets taken out of your hands," Avila said.
"I told him it was a ball. He said it was a strike." -- Avila, on his postgame words with home-plate umpire Andy Fletcher following his called third strike
"I thought it was a double for sure. I had to look at the third-base umpire and I was like, 'Ground-rule double? What happened?'" -- Calhoun, on his first-inning homer that just cleared the wall in left
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Angels (30-31) are now 10-0 on Tuesdays.
Cabrera gave a bat to a young fan behind home plate after he put on a Cabrera jersey over the Trout jersey he had been wearing. The fan initially tried to get Cabrera's attention, but Detroit's slugger pointed to his jersey to make sure the kid knew he had the wrong colors on. A quick switch with his friend got him the gear. More >
Angels:Alex Meyer (2-2, 4.91 ERA) will face Detroit for game two of the three-game series at 4:10 p.m. PT on Wednesday. He held the Tigers to one run on three hits in 6 1/3 innings on May 14 to earn the win.
Tigers: The series continues at 7:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Comerica Park, where the Tigers will try to regain their winning ways and avenge last month's loss to Meyer in Anaheim. Buck Farmer will get the start, trying to build on the 6 1/3 scoreless innings and 11 strikeouts he posted against the White Sox in a May 27 spot start.
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