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Angels 5, Tigers 1: Offense puts up little fight, Tigers drop 3rd straight

The Tigers' offense was a complete non-factor against Angels starter Jhoulys Chacin.

Harry How/Getty Images

There's something about Angels Stadium that the Detroit Tigers just can't solve. Justin Verlander allowed one baserunner through seven innings, but a rocky eighth cost him and the Tigers as they managed just three hits in a 5-1 loss against Jhoulys Chacin and the Los Angeles Angels.

There wasn't much offense to be found early in this game. In fact, there was zero offense whatsoever for the first four innings. Verlander and Chacin combined to retire the first 27 batters of the game, which was three shy of the major league record set by Dennis Martinez and Mike Morgan on July 28, 1991. Designated hitter C.J. Cron snapped the hitless streak with a bloop single to right off Verlander in the bottom of the fifth, but he was stranded at first base.

The Tigers offense finally reached base in the top of the sixth, when Andrew Romine punched a two-out single into left field. Ian Kinsler hit a bloop into center to move Romine to third, but the two were stranded when J.D. Martinez struck out to end the frame. They threatened again with two runners on in the seventh, but Chacin induced a Cameron Maybin groundout to get out of trouble.

The Angels finally broke through against Verlander in the bottom of the eighth. Old AL Central nemesis Johnny Giavotella singled to lead off the inning, then moved to third base on a hit by Rafael Ortega. Shortstop Cliff Pennington fell into an 0-2 hole after failing to lay down a bunt on a squeeze play, but lofted an elevated pitch into left to score Giavotella. After a sacrifice bunt from Carlos Perez, No. 9 batter Gregorio Petit hit a sharp grounder to shortstop Andrew Romine, who made an excellent diving play. Romine, playing in to prevent another run from scoring, threw home, but was too late to catch Ortega. James McCann then threw to first, but the ball skidded into right field, scoring another run.

Unfortunately, the scoring didn't end there. Buck Farmer was called upon to relieve Verlander, but allowed two more hits after intentionally walking Mike Trout, which resulted in two more Angels runs. It took a spectacular diving play by Nick Castellanos -- yes, you read that right -- to finally end the inning. The Tigers scored a run in the ninth to avoid the shutout, but Chacin retired the side for his first complete game since 2011.

ROARS:

Justin Verlander: The Tigers' ace was sharp again, taking a perfect game into the fifth inning. He retired 20 of the first 21 hitters he faced and struck out seven. Things unraveled in the eighth, but his final line was not indicative of how well he pitched.

HISSES:

The offense: While Chacin is a better pitcher than Twitter gave him credit for -- his 120 ERA+ ranks second in Colorado Rockies history -- the Tigers were a toothless bunch in this game. Chacin struck out 10 and hardly allowed any hard contact, and the Tigers left Verlander out to dry once again.

STREAKS AND STATS:
  • Jhoulys Chacin lowered his ERA from 5.11 to 4.42 in this game.
  • The Tigers are 2-16 in Anaheim since the start of 2011.
  • James McCann's throwing error in the bottom of the eighth was the first of his major league career.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:


Source: FanGraphs