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Tigers 5, Angels 3: Sweepin’ in Southern California

Jake Rogers homered twice, Joey Wentz was pretty good, and Alex Lange shut the door on the Halos.

Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

The Tigers went for a weekend three-game sweep in Los Angeles — well, really, Anaheim, but are you a geographer, punk? — and they got it with a 5-3 win. It was Detroit’s first road sweep of the Angels in thirty years.

It was a day of openers: for the Tigers, Miguel Díaz, and for the Angels, Jimmy Herget. (Reid Detmers was scratched due to an illness.) Díaz spent a few years in San Diego before signing with Detroit during 2022’s spring training; he’s spent most of the past two years in Toledo, seeing a little action in the bigs along the way. Coming into today he’d thrown 5⅔ scoreless innings amongst the Tall Buildings, but as Toledo’s sometime-closer he had a Triple-A ERA over 5.

Herget — whose name looks pretty French to me but I guess he goes with “HURR-jit” or “HURR-get,” I can’t tell which — only went one inning before Angels manager Phil Nevin went to the bullpen. He had a pretty solid 2022 season in relief, but has been a little shakier this year, spending some time in Triple-A Salt Lake.

Díaz got into a bit of trouble in the first, and after a single and a walk, the Angels had runners on second and third. But he bore down and got Logan O’Hoppe on a swinging strike three, thereby extinguishing the threat.

With one out in the top of the second, Jake Rogers turned a changeup around and deposited it over the left-field fence for a 1-0 Detroit lead and his 18th home run of the year.

If Rogers can remain good behind the plate, club twenty home runs a year and keep his batting average north of .220, I’d be a happy guy.

Joey Wentz took over in the second, and he was looking good early, setting down the first eight batters he faced.

The Tigers loaded up the bases in the third, with a single sandwiched between two walks. Kerry Carpenter grounded out to first, scoring a run, and then Rogers came to the plate and delivered again, this time to right field for a 5-0 lead:

Say what you will about Matt Shepard, but he was pretty prophetic on this one.

Things were fairly quiet for the next few innings and Wentz rolled along pretty nicely, giving up a couple of hits and striking out a few. The Angels finally got on the board with a Nolan Schanuel double and a David Fletcher single in the bottom of the fifth, narrowing the gap to 5-1. (Schanuel, if you’re keeping score at home, was the 11th pick overall in this year’s draft. Amazing.)

The magic for Wentz expired with one out in the sixth, as an O’Hoppe single preceded a Randal Grichuk home run to make it a 5-3 game. José Cisnero, who has not exactly inspired a lot of confidence lately, replaced Wentz... but, dag-nab-it, he got a pair of strikeouts to end the inning. (Sorry for the colourful language.)

Ed. Note: LANGUAGE!!

Cisnero carried on into the seventh, and after a leadoff walk Tyler Holton took over. He got a lineout and a pair of groundouts, because of course he did, he’s Tyler Holton. He stuck around to retire the left-handed leadoff batter in the eighth, then Jason Foley was summoned and he induced a couple of grounders.

The Tigers were hoping to get a little more insurance in the ninth, as a three-run lead on Saturday night wasn’t enough to prevent the game from going into extra innings. With two outs Matt Vierling walked, but Andy Ibáñez struck out and they’d have to roll the dice with a two-run lead this time.

Alex Lange, who imploded on Saturday night by giving up three runs in the ninth to allow the Angels to send the proceedings to extras, was brought on for the save. My wife opined, “Well, maybe he just had a bad day,” and she was right: he got a flyout, a groundout and a lineout. Listen to the women in your lives, everyone — they know things.

Numbers and Things

  • Spencer Torkelson is finishing the year pretty strong. Saturday he went hitless for only the third time in September; in this month coming into today’s action he’s slashing .298/.365/.579 for an OPS of .944, his highest of any month this season.
  • Pretty nutty Wild Card races, eh? The Rays have one of them locked up and will obviously try to win the AL East, but it’s a three-team dogfight for the last two spots; Seattle’s currently on the outside looking in. In the National League, four teams are within a game of each other, and the Giants are 2½ games out with a couple of weeks to play. We’re into scoreboard-watching season.
  • Meanwhile, the Astros have lost consecutive series against the A’s and Royals, both of which have already passed the 100-loss mark on the year. That’s why you play the games, folks!
  • On this day in 1111, Alfonso Raimúndez became the King of Galicia as Alfonso VII. Fifteen years later he also became the King of both León and Castile. At that time on the Iberian Peninsula, there was still a big battle between Muslim and Christian forces in both modern-day Spain and Portugal, and it would be another century before things would be settled.