Tigers 10, Angels 9
DETROIT (AP)—In one of the worst seasons in major league history, the Detroit Tigers have had few reasons to celebrate.
When they get one, they aren’t going to pass it up.
“That’s as good as I’ve felt in a long while,” said Inge, who spent nearly two months in Triple-A after hitting .150 through mid-June.
“Every kid dreams about hitting a walkoff homer, and it means even more after everything that has happened this year, going down and coming back up.”
Carlos Pena started the inning with a single off second baseman Adam Kennedy’s glove. He left for a pinch-runner, but led the charge out of the dugout when Inge connected on a 3-2 pitch for his sixth homer.
“I was screaming like a little kid,” Pena said. “We understand what our record is, but right now we don’t care. We are just going to enjoy this.”
Detroit, which also ended a 14-game losing streak to the Angels, had been in danger of dropping 12 in a row overall for the first time since 1996.
At 32-97, the Tigers are trying to avoid the modern major league record of 120 losses set by the 1962 New York Mets.
“I’m proud of these guys,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “This is the best one this year—it didn’t look good, going up against one of the premier closers in baseball, but that’s how this game works.”
Percival (0-4) had been successful on a team-record 20 straight save chances before Inge hit a fastball over the fence in left field.
“I was going to get beat with my best pitch,” Percival said. “I know if I would have made my best pitch, I would have had him. I didn’t do that, plain and simple. I made a big mistake.”
Garret Anderson hit his 27th homer and drove in five runs for the Angels. His two-run single in the eighth put Anaheim ahead.
“I’ve just been seeing the ball well lately,” Anderson said. “Fortunately, I’ve been up with a lot of guys on base, so when I’m getting my hits, I’m helping the team.”
The Angels are now 6-16 on the road since the All-Star break.
“We’ve had a lot of struggles, so this is a tough loss for us,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We know what the Tigers are going through, but we are out there to win games.”
Jamie Walker (3-2) won in relief.
Detroit led 7-6 entering the eighth, but Franklyn German walked Kennedy and Alfredo Amezaga with his first eight pitches of the inning. Chone Figgins laid down a sacrifice bunt off Fernando Rodney, and pinch-hitter Jeff DaVanon walked to load the bases.
Bobby Higginson made it 9-8 with an RBI single in the eighth.
Both starters struggled, but ended up with no-decisions. Detroit’s Mike Maroth, who leads the majors with 18 losses, allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings, while Scot Shields gave up seven runs in 4 2-3 innings.
Anaheim had early leads of 3-0 and 5-2, but couldn’t hold on.
After Anderson put Anaheim ahead with a three-run homer in the first, Dmitri Young hit his 25th homer in Tigers’ half.
The Tigers then tied the game on Pena’s 14th homer in the third.
The Angels went ahead 6-5 in the fifth, but it could have easily been more, as Craig Monroe reached well over the left-field fence to turn Spiezio’s bid for a three-run homer into a sacrifice fly.
“That’s just a reaction play,” Monroe said. “I knew I had a shot at it, and once I realized I didn’t have to climb the wall, I knew I had a chance to bring it back in.”
Detroit took advantage, scoring twice in the bottom of the inning on RBIsingles by Morris and Inge.
The Tigers had not beaten Anaheim since May 7, 2002. … The Angels scored 19 runs in a six-inning stretch between Saturday and Sunday’s games. … Brian Schmack de his major league debut, pitching a scoreless sixth inning for Detroit. Detroit recalled German and Rodney from Triple-A Toledo and Schmack from Double-A Erie before the game. They optioned C Matt Walbeck and LHP Eric Eckenstahler to Toledo and designated RHP Steve Sparks for assignment. …Rodney is the ninth Tigers pitcher to blow a save this season.