For a team with the second-best winning record in the majors, the Los Angeles Angels sure haven’t played like it this week.
After losing two out of three to Baltimore, the Angels dropped a series opener to Detroit last night. Garrett Richards and Max Scherzer faced off in a battle of Cy Young candidates, only the Tigers’ offense gave their ace a bit more run support, scoring five runs past the sixth inning.
Richards (11-3) allowed four runs over six innings; a majority of the damage coming in a three-run sixth. It was the right-hander’s first loss since May 30.
The Angels took a 3-1 when Kole Calhoun’s single scored David Freese and C.J. Cron in the bottom of the fifth. Detroit answered with an RBI single from Torii Hunter and two-RBI double from Nick Castellanos.
The Tigers added single runs in each of the following frames off Jason Grilli and Fernando Salas, respectively. By the time Josh Hamilton’s sacrifice fly brought Mike Trout home, Scherzer (12-3) was ready to hand the ball over to All-Star closer Joe Nathan.
Nathan struck out the side on 12 pitches to secure a 6-4 victory and snap the Tigers’ six-game losing streak at Angels Stadium. The Angels, meanwhile, drop three games behind division-leading Oakland.
It’s been a rough month for Tyler Skaggs. The young righty is 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA in July, compiling a 1.31 WHIP along the way.
Skaggs’ only victory came after surrendering a season-high six runs to Texas on July 13. He narrowly notched a win over Seattle last Sunday but a ninth-run rally came long after Skaggs was pulled.
Like Skaggs, Tigers starter Drew Smyly has struggled recently, posting a 6.21 over his last six road starts.
He bounced back from an ugly pre-All-Star break loss in Kansas City to dominate the Indians. Smyly scattered four hits and yielded one run through seven innings, no-hitting Cleveland through the first 4 2/3 innings.
On April 18, the Angels clobbered Smyly for four runs and six hits in a 11-6 win. The left-hander’s is 0-1 in two starts-four appearances- at the “Big A.”
- Detroit’s win was their first at Angel Stadium since July 6, 2011.
- The Tigers carry MLB’s best road record (31-17).
- Hamilton is 3-for-10 against Smyly with a home run and two RBIs.
TV: 7:05 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Detroit
Radio: KLAA 830, 97.1 The Ticket