April 20, 2013 was not a fun day for Detroit Tigers’ Rick Porcello, surrendering nine runs in just 2/3 inning against the Los Angeles Angels. April 20, 2014 was an entirely different situation as Porcello kept the Angels’ bats in check to help the Tigers win the game 2-1, and win the series.
Tigers’ starters have been consistently giving up early runs, and today was no different, however Porcello held LA to one run in the first inning and stranded two runners in scoring position. All told, Rick would go seven innings, allowing five hits, one run, one walk, and four strikeouts.
Detroit didn’t have to wait very long to get even. In probably the weirdest play you’ll see all season, Ian Kinsler attempted to steal second at the same time Miguel Cabrera took a close pitch which was called ball four. Catcher Hank Conger fired the ball into center field, allowing Kinsler to advance to third. Mike Trout airmailed the ball, missing Erick Aybar. Kinsler noticed this and hesitated for a split second before heading home. Angels’ starting pitcher Hector Santiago realized what was happening and attempted to throw the ball back to Conger, but it went wide, allowing Kinsler to score and Cabrera to advance to second.
Check what became a play which netted three errors for the Angels and a run without the aid of a hit for the Tigers:
It would remain 1-1 until the bottom of the sixth inning when Austin Jackson reached on a walk with two out. Conger attempted a pick-off but his ball when into right field for his second error of the game (LA’s fourth), allowing Jackson to advance to second. For the second game in a row, rookie Nick Castellanos provided the go-ahead run as he singled into center field, just past second basemen Howie Kendrick’s outstretched glove.
For the second straight day, the Tigers’ bullpen shut the door on the Angels. Ian Krol and Al Alburquerque combined to pitch a scoreless eighth inning. Joe Nathan recorded the first two outs in the ninth before allowing a base hit to Kendrick. He went 3-1 against pinch hitter Raul Ibanez, before coming back to strike him out and preserve the win, earning his third save in the process.
This was a nice series win for the Tigers who came in to Saturday’s ball game losers of 10 straight against the Angels. During that skid, the Tigers had allowed the Angels an average of eight runs per game. In wins on Saturday and Sunday, they allowed just three runs.
- Hours before the game, it was announced that Andrew Romine‘s shortstop platoon partner, Alex Gonzalez, was given his outright release. Romine reached base in all three of his at-bats, two singles and a walk. He stole two bases.
- With three stolen bases today, the Tigers have run their steal total to 15 (in 15 games). They had 35 in all of 2013.
The Tigers will continue their 10-game home stand when they welcome in the rival Chicago White Sox (8-10) for the first time in 2014. The series will begin with a night game at Comerica Park on Monday and conclude in the fourth game on Thursday afternoon. The Angels road trip will continue with stops in Washington and New York to face the Yankees next weekend.