Though the Tigers are much improved since losing an AL-record 119 games last year, the Angels are still overpowering them this season. They have won four straight from Detroit and own a 5-1 series lead, scoring double digits in four of those wins.
Anaheim has not lost to Detroit at home since a 3-0 defeat on May 7, 2002— winning 11 straight, including three from May 3-5. The Angels are 14-2 overall against the Tigers over the previous two seasons.
John Lackey takes the mound for the Angels. He is 3-0 with a 2.95 ERA in his career against Detroit. The 6-foot-6 right-hander looks to improve on his last outing against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday. He gave up four runs and 11 hits over 6 2-3 innings and left the game down a run before his teammates rallied for a 6-4 win.
“I was terrible,” said Lackey, who is 4-2 with a 4.43 ERA in his last seven starts. “Somehow we stayed in the game. Guys got some big hits for us. It’s huge just to get a win. We’re in a close race and every game counts.”
The Angels lost two of three to the Baltimore Orioles, including a 6-1 defeat on Thursday. They remained in second place in the AL West, 1 1/2 games behind the Oakland Athletics. Jose Guillen hit his 22nd homer and drove in his career-high 90th run for Anaheim, which has won six of its last eight.
Craig Monroe homered and drove in three runs as Detroit did the Angels a favor by beating Oakland 5-3 on Thursday. Omar Infante extended his season-high hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single for the Tigers, who won for just the third time in 10 games.
Detroit manager Allan Trammell knows Anaheim will once again provide a tough test for his team.
“When we played them earlier, they were playing their best stretch of the season,” he said. “They cooled down some, but … they’ve picked it back up. Perfect timing, of course. It won’t be easy, believe me. They’ll grind and they’ll play and you know how (Angels manager) Mike Scioscia is.”