DETROIT -- Buck Farmer and Alex Meyer quieted the offenses before Justin Upton's three-run homer in the eighth turned an unlikely pitching duel into a 4-0 Tigers win over the Angels on Wednesday at Comerica Park.Farmer (2-0), who tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the White Sox in a spot
DETROIT -- Buck Farmer and Alex Meyer quieted the offenses before Justin Upton's three-run homer in the eighth turned an unlikely pitching duel into a 4-0 Tigers win over the Angels on Wednesday at Comerica Park.
Farmer (2-0), who tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the White Sox in a spot start a week and a half ago, stretched his scoreless-innings streak to 13 by holding the Angels to three hits -- all singles --- with two coming with two outs. In his 6 2/3 innings, the Tigers' righty didn't allow a runner to reach scoring position, erasing Jose Pujols' leadoff single in the seventh with a double play to help Detroit post its first shutout of the season.
"He's done it twice now," manager Brad Ausmus said, "and obviously every outing that's similar, that gets you more and more comfortable, more and more confident."
• Farmer makes strong pitch to stay in rotation
Meyer (2-3), who tossed 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball against the Tigers last month in Anaheim, tried his best to keep pace, allowing three hits and one unearned run over six innings with a career-high nine strikeouts. But he paid for four walks and a hit batsman.
• Knuckle curve key as Meyer K's career-high 9
"I mean, obviously too many walks, which is something I want to work on," Meyer said. "If you can limit the hits, too, like I've said before, you want to be able to do both. But I was happy with it. Main goal every time is to keep us in the ballgame and try to give us a chance."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Error sets up first run: Though Meyer set up the first run-scoring rally with a Kinsler hit-by-pitch and an Alex Avila walk, it took a Yunel Escobar error at third base to put the opening tally in place. His mishandle on Jose Cabrera's chopper loaded the bases with nobody out, allowing Victor Martinez's ensuing double play to score Kinsler rather than end the inning.
"I think he was making the throw before he had the ball," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He had the right play [there]. He was going to get the ball, step on the bag and throw across the diamond for a double play. I think he took his eye off the ball, it looked like, to try to get his footwork to the bag and just didn't handle it."
Upton breaks game open: The Tigers didn't put together consecutive hits until Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez singled off Yusmeiro Petit in the eighth. Upton, who singled off an 0-2 slurve from Meyer his previous time up, shrugged off a 1-2 breaking ball down and away from Petit before getting another curve that he could hit, essentially golfing it out to left. The loft, hit at a 34-degree launch angle, had just a 44-percent hit probability according to Statcast™, but carried out for his 12th homer and third in four games.
"My grandpa, his good friends made it up here. My dad, my wife, sister-in-law, her friends. There was a good group. My mom still gets a little too nervous and stays home. I can't imagine when I hit Kinsler [in the head], what she was doing. She's better off just being in front of the TV and watching it there." -- Meyer, who is from Greensburg, Ind., on the group who drove to Detroit to see him pitch
"I rarely look up at the crowd, but tonight, that ovation really opened my eyes. It was memorable, for sure." -- Farmer
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The two longest scoreless streaks by Tigers pitchers this season both belong to youngsters. Farmer's 13 innings tie Matthew Boyd, who did it April 11-16. Farmer replaced Boyd in the rotation going into Wednesday's start.
Angels:JC Ramirez (5-4, 4.11 ERA) took a loss against Detroit in May, tying a season high with eight hits allowed to go with five earned runs. Facing the Tigers in the rubber game Thursday at 10:10 a.m. PT, Ramirez aims for his third win in four decisions.
Tigers:Michael Fulmer (6-3, 3.00 ERA) will try to beat the Angels for the second time in four weeks as the two teams wrap up their three-game series with a 1:10 p.m. ET matinee Thursday at Comerica Park. Fulmer tossed seven innings of one-run ball May 11 in Anaheim.
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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 Wednesday.