I don’t know about you, but if the Tigers simply never played another game against a team in California, I’d be fine with it. Whether the Tigers are bottom of the barrel or playoff-bound, it seems as if they can never quite get a handle on the Angels, especially (I won’t talk about the Giants, now or ever).
The Tigers could’ve opted for a bullpen game for Saturday night’s outing, but with an already taxed and shaky pen, they needed innings from Wily Peralta, who had not started in a game since 2017. Considering how long it had been since his last start, Peralta did... okay. He had an exceptionally rough third inning, which we’ll get into, but at the end of the day, he managed 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR on 87 pitches. No one is going to call it a dazzler, but he did successfully eat some innings.
The game started decently enough, with a red-hot Schoop getting a single in the first inning, though no additional runners managed to get aboard. Peralta had a strong first, sending the Angels back to the dugout in order.
Things started getting rockier in the second as the Tigers were retired in order, and then the Angels began to chip away. Walsh doubled, Iglesias singled, and the Rengifo grounded into a fielder’s choice, but scored Walsh, giving the Angels the first run of the game. Peralta kept the damage limited, though, at least for the remainder of the second.
Rogers led off the third with a walk, but the rest of the side went down in order, and no runs scored. Then things went from bad to worse for Peralta. Fletcher singled to lead off the inning, and Upton fouled, but a throwing error to second by Peralta allowed Fletcher to advance to third. Ohtani homered, because of course he did, and two runs scored. Ward doubled, then Walsh homered, putting two more on the board for the Angels, and bringing the score to 5-0.
The Tigers would not claw their way back in the fourth, but Peralta did keep the score where it was. Suzuki walked, and Fletcher singled, but no further Angels runs scored.
In the top of the fifth, with his dad present to watch it, Daz Cameron led things off with a home run (his second this season). Rogers got a single, but Harold Castro grounded into a double play to end the inning. It was actually a similar story in the bottom of the inning as Walsh walked but then Iglesias hit into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Once we got to the sixth, the Tigers got a little hustle going. Schoop hit a solo home run, and Cabrera drew a walk, which was the end of the game for Angels’ starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval. Submariner Steve Cishek came on in relief, walked Eric Haase, and the Cameron singled to score Cabrera.
The Angels opted to get a run back in the bottom of the inning off reliever Brian Garcia. Rengifo doubled, then advanced to third on a Suzuki sacrifice. Fletcher had a squeeze play to the pitcher to score Rengifo, and had an almost comical moment where he ran down to first and was called safe, but on the review play it was clear that not only did Schoop beat the runner to the bag, Fletcher never actually touched it at all. Ohtani drew and intentional walk but no further runs scored.
The Tigers were retired in order to start the seventh, and then Tyler Alexander returned the favor in the bottom of the inning.
Schoop drew a walk in the top of the eighth, but the Tigers left him stranded. In the bottom of the inning a Kurt Suzuki double chased Alexander from the game. Joe Jimenez came in and immediately gave up an RBI double to Fletcher, with Suzuki coming home. Upton singled to advance Fletcher to third. Upton stole second and Castro bobbled the tag with an error credited to Jimenez (that’s two pitcher errors tonight if you’re counting), allowing Fletcher to score.
The 150th stolen base of his career for J-Up! pic.twitter.com/qyHg27bB5l— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) June 20, 2021
Ward walked, then Rendon walked, and the based were loaded with two outs, but Jimenez worked out of the jam, and going into the top of the ninth the Angels lead 8-3.
The Tigers managed a Jake Rogers single with two outs, but no runs scored.
Final: Angels 8, Tigers 3