The Detroit Tigers have struggled to win in Anaheim in recent years, and their difficulties continued tonight, as they were shut out for the second time in 2015. The Tigers managed just four hits and four walks on the evening, wasting a solid start from Anibal Sanchez.
After three scoreless innings, the Angels finally got to Sanchez in the fourth inning. Mike Trout singled with one out, but was caught stealing by James McCann with Albert Pujols at the plate. Sanchez gave up singles to Pujols and Kole Calhoun, then walked David Freese to load the bases. Matt Joyce hit a sharp grounder to Ian Kinsler, but the normally sure-handed Kinsler botched the exchange to his throwing hand, allowing a run to score. Sanchez got another double play ball in the next at-bat to escape the jam with minimal damage.
The real story was the Tigers' offense, which once again struggled to put together a scoring threat. Angels starter Hector Santiago held them hitless through the first four innings, allowing one walk. The Tigers mounted a mini-rally in the fifth, advancing J.D. Martinez to third base with two outs. Hernan Perez was quickly retired on a flare to the outfield to end the inning. Rajai Davis reached second base after a walk and a stolen base in the sixth, but was thrown out trying to steal third base.
The Tigers had their best chance to break through in the eighth inning. Jose Iglesias and Davis reached base with one out, and advanced on a groundout by Kinsler. After Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked, Angels closer Huston Street came on to face Yoenis Cespedes. Four sliders later, Cespedes struck out to end the threat. Street worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 15th save of the year.
Sanchez looked much better than in previous outings, allowing two runs on six hits in seven innings of work. He did not leave completely unscathed, however. Albert Pujols hit a solo home run off a Sanchez changeup in a 3-2 count into the left field stands, giving the Angels a 2-0 lead in the sixth inning. Sanchez gave up some hard contact at times, but struck out nine while walking two.
Anibal Sanchez: He still allowed a home run and some hard contact, but the Tigers got a vintage Sanchez start tonight. He struck out nine and walked two in seven innings, allowing two runs.
The offense: There isn't much more you can say. The Tigers struggled to get anything going against Santiago early on, and were unable to capitalize on their few legitimate scoring chances. At least they didn't ground into a double play?
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Hector Santiago came into tonight's game with an 0-3 record and a 2.03 ERA in 12 appearances (five starts) against the Tigers. Tonight was his first career win against Detroit.
- James McCann threw out Mike Trout on a stolen base attempt in the fourth inning, his ninth runner thrown out this season. This total is tied for fourth in the American League. McCann's 47 percent caught stealing percentage is second in the AL.
- J.D. Martinez stole second base in the fifth inning, his second swipe of the season. Martinez stole six bases on nine attempts in 2014. Rajai Davis also stole a base, his 12th of the season. The Tigers now have 44 stolen bases on the year, which leads the American League. They have been caught stealing 20 times, which leads the major leagues.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $100,000 one-day fantasy baseball league today. It's $3 to join and first place wins $8,000. Enter now!