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Tigers ride 5-run 1st to series win over Angels

MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- The Tigers' Rally Goose is no longer at Comerica Park after its run-in with a scoreboard Wednesday night, but the Tigers found a suitable stand-in.

As Detroit batted around on Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney in a five-run first inning to take early control Thursday afternoon, someone had put a plastic goose on the railing of the Tigers' dugout. It was sitting above catcher James McCann's locker after the club's 6-2 win.

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DETROIT -- The Tigers' Rally Goose is no longer at Comerica Park after its run-in with a scoreboard Wednesday night, but the Tigers found a suitable stand-in.

As Detroit batted around on Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney in a five-run first inning to take early control Thursday afternoon, someone had put a plastic goose on the railing of the Tigers' dugout. It was sitting above catcher James McCann's locker after the club's 6-2 win.

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Video: LAA@DET: Reyes plates 3 on a triple to left-center

"Some good outdoor stores around here," he said.

"I thought [the umpires] were going to kick it off the fence, to tell you the truth," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Oblique injury to send Carpenter to DL

In the case of the Rally Goose, much like the roster, the Tigers keep rolling with fill-ins. On a day when Detroit lost third baseman Jeimer Candelario and starting pitcher Ryan Carpenter minutes apart to injuries, and already were without Jose Iglesias, Leonys Martin and others, they made relatively simple work of a series win over an Angels club that has the AL's second-best road record at 18-10.

Video: LAA@DET: Gardenhire on Rodriguez's debut, injuries

The Tigers took three of four from the Angels for their first series win in the rivalry since 2014, and have won six of their last eight games to climb back into second place in the American League Central. They hope to have Miguel Cabrera back from the disabled list on Friday, but none of their many injuries seem to doom them.

Video: Gardenhire on Miggy's upcoming return to the lineup

"That speaks to the tone of the clubhouse," said Nicholas Castellanos, whose second consecutive three-hit game helped fuel the offense. "We're not playing for the names on the back of our jersey. We're playing for the 'D' on the front of it. Nobody in here wants to lose. Nobody in here is in this locker room for themselves. We want to win and I think that's showing."

They continue to show fight late in games, but their big first inning Thursday put them in the position to hold off a rally.

Video: LAA@DET: Tigers on Rodriguez's debut, win over Angels

Detroit soared in front early with back-to-back doubles from Castellanos and Candelario before John Hicks' RBI single began a string of four consecutive Tigers reaching base safely with two outs. That included Ronny Rodriguez, who was called up from Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday night after hitting for the cycle. He barely missed a three-run homer on a drive that veered foul down the left-field line, but his chopper on a 1-2 pitch left third baseman Jefry Marte with no play.

Video: LAA@DET: Rodriguez legs out first career MLB hit

That loaded the bases for Victor Reyes, who hit Heaney's next pitch deep into the gap in left-center field, clearing the bases as former Tigers left fielder Justin Upton gave chase. Reyes, who started the season 3-for-31 as Gardenhire struggled to find playing time for him, went 3-for-4 with a stolen base and a diving catch, falling a home run shy of the cycle.

"Injuries played a part in it today, but the more at-bats he gets, he's going to be comfortable," Gardenhire said. "Hopefully he is comfortable, because he put some real nice swings up there today."

Heaney (2-4) held the Tigers scoreless on three singles over four innings after the big opening frame, but the lead stood up even after a couple of Tigers were knocked out. Candelario left after taking a Heaney pitch off his left hand in the fourth inning, moments before starter Carpenter left with a right oblique strain following Jose Briceno's leadoff homer in the fifth. Warwick Saupold (3-1) tossed two perfect innings in relief for the win.

Video: LAA@DET: Goodrum adds to lead with an RBI double

Though Ian Kinsler continued to torment his old club, Mike Trout went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts, finishing a 4-for-16 series. His eighth-inning single marked just his second RBI of the series. Upton went 1-for-16 with 10 strikeouts, six of them called third strikes. Detroit did all of this despite none of their starters making it through six innings.

"The big thing was we just mixed," McCann said. "We didn't repeat patterns. We kept guys off balance. Three out of the four days, we just did a good job of mixing."

SOUND SMART
Rodriguez became the first Tiger to have a multihit game in his Major League debut since JaCoby Jones had two hits on Aug. 30, 2016.

Video: LAA@DET: Rodriguez debuts with 2 hits, strong defense

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Dr. Catherine Roach, the veterinarian and Tigers season-ticket holder who rescued the goose Wednesday night, threw out Thursday's ceremonial first pitch. She told Fox Sports Detroit that the goose has been taken to Michigan State University for observation before hopefully being released in the next day or two. More >

Video: LAA@DET: Roach tosses first pitch after saving goose

HE SAID IT
"You've got to get used to it. Over here, we have some fun."
-- Candelario, on the plastic goose

UP NEXT
The Tigers hope to have Cabrera back from the disabled list when they begin a three-game series against the Blue Jays with a 7:10 p.m. ET game Friday at Comerica Park. Cabrera, out since May 4 with a right hamstring strain, will work out before the game in hopes of being cleared to return. Blaine Hardy (1-0, 2.70) will make his fourth start, hoping to build on his seven innings of one-run ball last Sunday against the White Sox. Jaime Garcia will start for Toronto.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Victor Reyes