Byrd had his brief two-game winning streak snapped in his last outing, a 2-1 loss at Seattle on Tuesday. He gave up two runs and eight hits over eight-plus innings, falling to 2-1 with a 0.78 ERA over his last three starts.
“I still felt like I had 30 pitches left,” Byrd said. “I felt like I could throw 11 or 12 innings tonight. That’s what’s so tough. It was kind of a wasted start for me.”
Byrd has had plenty of success against Detroit. The veteran right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.91 ERA against the Tigers in eight career appearances, including seven starts.
Los Angeles posted its second straight win in its final at-bat, rallying for a 3-1 victory over Detroit on Saturday. Garret Anderson’s two-out, two-run double capped a three-run rally in the eighth after the Angels were held scoreless through seven innings.
The win extended the Angels’ lead to two games over Oakland in the AL West. Los Angeles has won two straight after dropping four in a row.
The Angels believe they can count on right-hander Kelvim Escobar as a weapon out of the bullpen down the stretch.
Escobar pitched three scoreless innings in Friday’s victory and Los Angeles wants to keep him in relief despite starter Jarrod Washburn’s current forearm injury.
“He (Escobar) came out of last night (Friday) no worse for the wear, which is encouraging,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. “Right now, it’s a huge advantage to place him into games where we already have a lead or it’s tied, and he can go shorter spurts that can be more meaningful, like last night. He can have a bigger impact if we can slot him in the right situation.”
Detroit starts Nate Robertson, who is tied with Cleveland’s Jake Westbrook and Seattle’s Ryan Franklin for the third-most losses in the AL with 14. Robertson is 0-4 with a 9.41 ERA over his last four starts.
The left-hander is 0-3 with a 10.62 ERA in five career starts against the Angels. Robertson allowed six runs—one earned—and five hits over three innings in a 9-3 loss to Los Angeles on May 15.
Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez will not start on Sunday due to a scheduled day off. Rodriguez is 0-for-10 in this series.