It was a bittersweet moment for Matt Shoemaker. Last night, he faced the Detroit Tigers-his favorite team growing up-while family looked on from the Angel Stadium grandstands.
Shoemaker (8-3) wasn’t fazed, tossing seven shutout innings in a 4-0 Angels victory; scattering three hits while striking out five. It was Shoemaker’s longest outing since going 7 2/3 against Texas on June 22.
Facing Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, the Halos knew chances would be few and far between. Hot hitting Efren Navarro took advantage each time, homering off Verlander (9-9) in the second inning and driving home Albert Pujols on a ground out in the sixth.
A luxury in the Angels bullpen is in how many proven closers they have. Former All-Star Jason Grilli entered the ninth instead of Huston Street because it was a non-save situation, closing the door on Detroit by forcing Miguel Cabrera to pop out.
The Angels are looking for their 12th win in the last 13 games against the Tigers at the “Big A.”
Hector Santiago is finally getting comfortable in Anaheim, and it’s coming at the right time. C.J. Wilson’s ankle injury slotted Santiago into the starting rotation just as the Angels faced three consecutive playoff contenders.
Santiago pitched 2 2/3 innings against Seattle on July 18 earning his second-ever win as a Halo. He followed the short outing by shutting Baltimore out through five innings last Tuesday. The right-hander received a no-decision but kept the Angels in it long enough for a late rally.
Despite a 2.08 ERA in 11 appearances-four starts- against the Tigers, Santiago is still looking for his first win over the AL Central division leaders. He pitched well enough for a win at Comerica Park earlier this season, five innings yielding two earned runs, but was bested by today’s starter, Rick Porcello.
On April 20, the Angels notched a first-inning run off Porcello but were blanked from that point forward. The seven inning outing moved Porcello’s lifetime record versus the Angels to 4-4 with a 7.39 ERA. Success at Angel Stadium, however, is hard to come by.
Porcello is 0-2 with a 27.00 ERA in Anaheim, most recently allowing nine first-inning runs in a 2013 start.
The longtime Tiger is coming off a five-hit, three-run outing against Arizona in which he didn’t factor into the decision.
- Josh Hamilton, who is back after missing last night’s game, is batting .353 with two home runs and eight RBIs against Porcello.
- The Angels haven’t lost a home series to Detroit since 2009.
- Porcello is looking to become Major League Baseball’s first 13-game winner.
TV: 12.35 P.M. PST, Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Detroit
Radio: KLAA 830, 97.1 The Ticket