The Detroit Tigers' Southern California struggles continued on Saturday night, as a career-worst outing from Shane Greene led to their third consecutive loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Greene worked just 1 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits, including a career-high five home runs.
The Angels' outfield got off to a quick start offensively, giving their team an early lead. Center fielder Mike Trout and right fielder Kole Calhoun hit solo home runs in the bottom of the first inning, while left fielder Matt Joyce followed with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the second. Catcher Carlos Perez also homered, giving the Angels an early 4-1 lead. After a pair of baserunners reached with two outs in the second, Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer to deep left field, ending Greene's night.
The Tigers started to chip away at the lead over the next couple innings. Miguel Cabrera hit an RBI double off Angels starter Jered Weaver in the top of the third inning, scoring Anthony Gose for the Tigers' second run of the night. J.D. Martinez led off the top of the fourth inning with a double, then advanced to third on a hit by Tyler Collins. Martinez later scored on a sacrifice fly by Nick Castellanos, cutting the Los Angeles lead to 7-3.
Weaver cooled the Tigers' bats after that, working a couple of quick innings before running into some trouble in the seventh. After hitting James McCann with a 3-2 curveball, Castellanos lined out on the first pitch of his at-bat. Jose Iglesias followed up with a bunt single -- his second hit of the night -- to end Weaver's outing. Cesar Ramos and Fernando Salas retired the next two Tigers hitters, stranding a pair of baserunners with Cabrera in the on-deck circle.
The Tigers cut the lead in half in the eighth, scoring a pair of runs off of Salas on three hits. Collins and McCann picked up the RBIs for the Tigers before Castellanos grounded out with a runner in scoring position to end the threat. After the Angels tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, Huston Street worked around a solo home run by Kinsler to record his second save in as many nights.
Alex Wilson: As bad as Greene was to start the game, Wilson was that good when called upon. He retired all 11 batters he faced, throwing just 40 pitches. Wilson bridged the gap to the sixth inning, once again helping save a tired Tigers bullpen.
Blaine Hardy: After Wilson departed, Hardy came on to work 1 2/3 scoreless innings of his own. He allowed a hit in his second inning of work, but struck out three. Hardy has allowed just one run since April 18.
The middle of the order: No, seriously. Miguel Cabrera, Yoenis Cespedes, and J.D. Martinez combined for seven hits in 12 at-bats tonight, including two doubles and a home run. However, with Anthony Gose and Ian Kinsler combining to strand six runners on base in front of them, the big bats did not get enough RBI opportunities to make up for Greene's lackluster start.
Shane Greene: Five outs recorded, five home runs allowed. Greene was charged with seven earned runs in 1 2/3 innings tonight.
Al Alburquerque: After retiring the first two batters he faced, Alburquerque allowed the next three hitters to reach base, resulting in a crucial insurance run for the Angels in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Ian Kinsler: Although he hit his first homer of the year, Kinsler was just 1-for-5 on the night, including a three-pitch strikeout with two runners on base and two outs in the seventh inning. Kinsler is now 5-for-45 in his last 12 games.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Shane Greene allowed five home runs tonight, a career high. He had only allowed three total home runs in his previous 10 starts this season.
- The Angels have out-homered the Tigers 9-2 in this series. Three of those home runs have come off the bat of Albert Pujols.
- Alex Wilson has not allowed a hit in 7 2/3 innings on the Tigers' road trip. He allowed one walk in his start against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday. He last allowed a hit (and an earned run) on May 24 against the Houston Astros.
- The Tigers out-hit the Angels 12-9 tonight, but went just 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: