American League Game Summary - Detroit at LA Angels of Anaheim
(Thursday, July 24)
Final Score: Detroit 6, LA Angels of Anaheim 4
Anaheim, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Max Scherzer got the better of the up-and- coming Garrett Richards as the Detroit Tigers snuck past the Angels, 6-4, in the opener of a four-game series.
Scherzer (12-3) struck out 11 over seven innings and needed a late rally to earn the victory after giving up three runs on six hits.
Nick Castellanos hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the sixth, and Ian Kinsler knocked in a pair for the AL Central-leading Tigers, winners in four of their last five.
A string of nine consecutive quality starts for Richards (11-3) came to an end, with the emerging right-hander yielding four runs on seven hits over six innings. Since failing to make it out of the first inning against Oakland on May 30, Richards was 7-0 with a 1.25 ERA.
"Garrett got some pitches in the zone and their guys caught up to them," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "On the offensive end against Scherzer, we did a good job. We had opportunities, but the sixth inning was tough."
Kole Calhoun went 2-for-4 with two RBI for the Angels, who have dropped four of their last six.
Two of the top offenses in the AL were held in check until they each broke out in the middle innings.
Kinsler's RBI groundout in the third inning accounted for all the scoring until the Angels struck for three runs in the fifth.
Howie Kendrick led off the frame with a double, moved to third on David Freese's single and scored on C.J. Cron's infield hit. A sacrifice bunt left two in scoring position for Calhoun, who blooped a single in front of Torii Hunter in right to knock in a pair.
The Tigers countered with three runs in their turn. Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez both reached on singles, and Hunter and Castellanos followed with back-to-back doubles. Hunter's drove in Cabrera, and Castellanos' gapper to left knocked in the tying and go-ahead runs.
"Richards is a great pitcher, I had to bring my 'A' game," Scherzer said. "They got to me in the fifth, but I was able to limit the damage. Our team battled back with a 3-spot and that was huge. I was able to go out there in the sixth and seventh, and everything went well."
Detroit pushed across two more against the Angels' bullpen for good measure.
Austin Jackson singled and raced around on a Kinsler double in the seventh, and after robbing Calhoun of an extra-base hit with a leaping grab at the wall in the bottom half, Jackson singled in Eugenio Suarez in the eighth. Mike Trout nearly made an inning-ending sliding catch on Jackson's sinking liner, but was correctly ruled to have trapped it.
The Angels put a rally together in the eighth by putting their first two hitters on base, but Joba Chamberlain limited the damage to Josh Hamilton's sacrifice fly.
Joe Nathan recorded his 21st save of the season by striking out the side in the ninth.
"I tried to attack them. My slider was as good as it's been all season," Nathan said. "Outstanding job by our offense to battle back."
Scherzer, who turns 30 on Sunday, is 4-0 over his last six starts ... Jackson went 2-for-5 and has multiple hits in seven straight and 10 of his last 11 games.
07/25 02:13:12 ET