Aug 25, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (7) takes the ball to relieve starting pitcher Alfredo Simon (31) in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers dropped the first game of their three game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Tuesday night by a score of 8-7.
Alfredo Simon looked to repeat his one-hit shutout of the Texas Rangers, but could not against their AL West counterparts. He was wild and rocked for 8 earned runs in 4.1 innings of work with 4 walks and 2 strikeouts with three of the runs coming home on wild pitches.
Jered Weaver got the start for the Angels, and his night did not go much better. He was knocked around for 6 runs in 5.2 innings on 7 hits.
What should not be lost in this game was the performance of Drew VerHagen and the rest of the bullpen. He pitched 2.2 innings of one-hit, scoreless ball to keep the Tigers in the game after Simon departed while trailing 8-4. Blaine Hardy and Alex Wilson also kept the Tigers in the game with their shutout performances.
The Angels ruined Simon’s hopes for another one-hit shutout in the top of the first. Cole Calhoun walked to lead off the game, Mike Trout then hit a seeing-eye groundball for a single, and Albert Pujols deposited a line drive over the left field wall to give the Angels the 3-0 lead. David Murphy then hit a double to center field and moved up to third on an Erick Aybar sacrifice bunt. Murphy then scored on the first of three wild pitches to score runs to give the Angels the 4-0 lead.
The Tigers got their offense rolling in the bottom of the third and tied the game up. James McCann singled to lead off the inning, Anthony Gose doubled, and Jose Iglesias was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Miguel Cabrera then unloaded the bases with a double to trim the lead to 4-3, and he scored on a single by J.D. Martinez to tie the game at 4-4.
Alfredo Simon was given a fresh slate, but could not provide a shutdown inning. Aybar led the inning off with a single to right field and moved up to third on a C.J. Cron single. Carlos Perez walked, but ball four got away from James McCann to score the 2nd run a wild pitch. Kaleb Cowart then bunted to move the runners up to 2nd and 3rd with one out. David DeJesus then hit a bloop single to score Cron and give the Angels the 6-4 lead.
The Angles then extended their lead in the 5th. David Murphy singled to lead off the inning. He scored on an Aybar double to left field. Aybar moved up to third on a line out to center field from Carlos Perez and scored on Alfredo Simon’s 3rd wild pitch of the night. He walked Cowart later in the at-bat to end his night.
The Tigers would not go away quietly. In the bottom of the 6th, the Tigers cut into the Angels lead as J.D. Martinez doubled to lead off the inning. Tyler Collins and Nick Castellanos both flew out, but James McCann hit a two-run two-out home run to cut the lead to 8-6.
The Tigers got even closer in the 7th. Miguel Cabrera singled to lead off the inning, J.D. Martinez walked, and Nick Castellanos hit a single to bring Cabrera home. James McCann looked like he was going to tie the game up, but Pujols made a diving play to keep the game at 8-7 Angels.
The Tigers threatened the Angels and forced them to go to Houston Street in the bottom of the 8th. Jose Iglesias hit a two out single against Joe Smith in his second inning of work which brought up Miguel Cabrera to the plate with two outs. Cabrera singled Iglesias to third, but Victor Martinez grounded out to end the threat.
These two teams will face off once again tomorrow night as Justin Verlander looks to keep his string of strong starts going as he faces off against Hector Santiago on Wednesday night at 7:08 at Comerica Park.