Brandon Inge’s second grand slam in less than a week was not enough to keep the Tigers from dropping consecutive games for just the second time this season in Tuesday’s 10-4 loss to Anaheim.
Losers of an AL record 119 games last year, the Tigers burst out of the gate with an impressive 4-0 start, but have gone just 7-9 since.
The Tigers were scoreless through six innings Tuesday, but Inge connected for his third homer in five games with the bases loaded, giving Detroit a short-lived 5-4 lead. The Angels rallied for five runs in the eighth inning en route to their season-high fifth straight win.
“It’s frustrating, it’s very frustrating,” said Inge, who also had three outfield assists Tuesday. “At the same time, you’ve got to take the highs and lows.”
A former catcher turned utility player, Inge hit a grand slam in a 17-3 blowout over Cleveland on Friday. He has been subbing for center fielder Alex Sanchez, who returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing two games with the flu. Tigers manager Alan Trammell started Inge, who is batting .381 with three home runs and 14 RBIs, in left field instead of Craig Monroe.
“It shouldn’t be any surprise,” Trammell said. “Right now, he deserves to play.”
The Angels, who had 15 hits on Tuesday, have held their opponents to five runs or fewer in each of their last five games.
Erstad has hit safely in 17 of 20 games and reached base in 19 of 20. Vladimir Guerrero went 3-for-5 and was one of four Anaheim players to drive in a run.