After scoring six runs in a come-from-behind victory in the first game of the series in Anaheim, the Detroit Tigers could only muster two runs through three games, all losses. A bad defensive play and a rare miscue from Joba Chamberlain also contributed to the effort today, but the offense will get the lion’s share of the blame in the 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
After being shutout on Saturday, and scoring just one run on Friday, the Tigers’ slumbering offense got it going early in this one, scoring in the first inning off former White Sox Hector Santiago. With two outs, Victor Martinez doubled over the head of right fielder Kole Calhoun, bringing in Ian Kinsler, who had reached via a one-out double. Immediately following the run, the bats went silent once again. In fact, Santiago set down every Tiger from the 1st inning through one out in the 6th inning, when he departed after an Austin Jackson single.
Rick Porcello had kept pace through the first four innings, getting lots of ground ball outs and double plays until his own defense and the lackluster defense from others let him down. With one out in the fifth inning, Erik Aybar singled and Howie Kendrick, tired of his team hitting into double plays, launched a perfect bunt base hit down the third base line. A couple of pitches later, Porcello threw the ball into center field on a pointless pick-off move (I mean how often do you see a guy picked off second), advancing both runners. Jackson held on to the ball too long and simply lofted it into the infield to Eugenio Suarez. Neither player was paying attention as Aybar was coming full steam around third and scored without a throw, tying the score at 1.
That was really the only blemish in another strong outing from Porcello, who went seven innings, allowing just the one unearned run on five hits with six strikeouts. Chamberlain came on in the eighth inning of the tie ballgame and allowed a solo home run to David Freese.
In the final three games, the Tigers’ pitching staff was decent, allowing eight total runs, but when the offense gives you only two runs through three games, it is kinda hard to win.
The Tigers will take a rare second-half day off on Monday as they travel back home to begin a six-game homestand on Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox. Following the off-day, Detroit will play on 20 straight days and have 44 games in 44 days, including a pair of double-headers in Chicago and Minnesota on August 23 and 30 respectively.