DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Men left on base in scoring positions continue to haunt the Detroit Tigers – losing to the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 on Friday night.
As heard on 97.1 The Ticket – Miguel Cabrera provided the only scoring for the Tigers, slamming a solo homer to left in the eighth inning off of Zack Greinke.
Howie Kendrick broke a scoreless tie with a two-run double in the sixth to give the Angels the only scoring needed against the Tigers.
Scott Downs got the Angels out of the inning by getting Prince Fielder to ground out and retired Brennan Boesch to lead off the ninth. Garrett Richards struck out Delmon Young and Jhonny Peralta for the final two outs to earn his first career save.
Greinke (2-2) gave up five hits and two walks while striking out five over 7 2-3 innings.
Rick Porcello (9-9) allowed two runs and seven hits over six innings. He allowed a walk and struck out six.
Greinke retired 11 straight before Cabrera hit a two-out double in the sixth. He stranded Cabrera by striking out Prince Fielder looking and arguing about the called strike.
Brennan Boesch led off the seventh with a single and Alex Avila drew a two-out walk before Greinke struck out pinch-hitter Andy Dirks.
Greinke lasted more than seven innings for the first time since pitching a shutout for Milwaukee on June 22. He was an out away from potentially pitching in the ninth when Cabrera hit his 32nd homer to pull Detroit within a run.
The Angels have won four straight for the first time in two months. Detroit had won three straight and six of eight.
For a change, the Angels got the type of performance out of Greinke they wanted when they acquired the 2009 AL Cy Young award winner nearly a month ago from the Brewers. He won on the road for the first time since June 27, when he was with Milwaukee, after giving up at least four earned runs in four straight starts for the first time in his nine-year career.
Greinke gave up a hit and allowed a walk in the first inning before hustling to catch Boesch’s popup in foul territory near Detroit’s dugout.
After Ramon Santiago hit a leadoff single in the third, the Tigers couldn’t get a runner on base until there were two outs in the sixth when Cabrera lumbered to second on his heavily taped right ankle.
Porcello pitched well, but paid the price for throwing a chest-high, 82-mph pitch over the middle of the plate when he had Kendrick down 0-2 in the sixth inning. Kendrick drove the ball into the left-center gap to bring Maicer Izturis scored and Mark Trumbo home after Torii Hunter extended the inning by a hard slide into second base that led to Omar Infante making a wide throw on a potential double play.
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