Detroit Tigers Lose Battle of the Long Ball to Anaheim, 8-6

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The Detroit Tigers lost their third straight game, and sixth of their last eight, as Shane Greene failed to survive the second inning in an 8-6 loss to the Anaheim Angels.

Greene (4-4) was pounded for four home runs from the first seven batters in the Angels’ lineup and surrendered a fifth to Albert Pujols before being replaced by Alex Wilson.

The Angels began their barrage in the first inning with a pair of solo shots by Mike Trout, his twelfth of the season, and Kole Calhoun, his fifth.

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Yoenis Cespedes led off the Tigers second with his seventh home run of the season off of Jered Weaver (4-4) to cut Anaheim’s lead to 2-1 but the Angels opened the floodgates in their half of the inning.

Left Fielder Matt Joyce capped an eight-pitch leadoff at-bat by launching a fastball over the center field wall to make the score 3-1, then catcher Carlos Perez followed with his own shot to center, his second of the season to stretch the advantage to 4-1. With two out and two on Pujols sent Greene to the dugout with a three-run blast to extend Anaheim’s lead to 7-1.

At that point manager Brad Ausmus had seen enough and brought in Wilson, who got Calhoun to ground out and end the damage.

Wilson slammed the door on the Angels for 3-2/3 innings, easily dispatching all 11 hitters he faced, while the Tigers began to chip away at the six run deficit.

They made it 7-2 in the third when Miguel Cabrera doubled home Anthony Gose, then added another run in the fourth when J. D. Martinez scored on Nick Castellanos‘ sacrifice fly.

The disappointment of those two innings is that the Tigers were in position to put a lot more on the board than two runs. Jose Iglesias and Gose opened the third with singles but Ian Kinsler followed by grounding into a double play. Cabrera’s double could only pick up the run by Gose.

In the fourth, Martinez opened the inning with a double and advanced to third on Tyler Collins‘ single to put two on with no out but they could only cash in with Martinez and still trailed 7-3.

With two outs and the score 8-5 in the ninth inning, Kinsler kept the Tigers alive with a line drive home run off Angels closer Huston Street but Cabrera followed by flying out to Calhoun to end the game.

The only consolation the Tigers could take from the night was, other than Al Alburquerque surrendering an insurance run in the eighth inning, the bullpen did an excellent job keeping the game in hand after the disastrous start. Blaine Hardy followed Wilson’s performance with a dominant three strikeout relief stint of his own.

The Tigers will attempt to salvage one game from their Anaheim trip Sunday night when ace David Price (4-1) takes the mound against Matt Shoemaker (3-4).

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