DETROIT (AP)—The last time the Detroit Tigers had a winning record in April, their manager was playing shortstop.
Bobby Higginson hit a two-run double in a five-run third inning, and Detroit ensured its first winning record in the season’s opening month since 1993 with a 10-2 victory over Anaheim on Wednesday night.
While Alan Trammell can truly appreciate how the Tigers have stumbled at the start of the previous 10 seasons, the second-year manager downplayed the streak his team stopped.
“I want it to continue,” Trammell said. “I’ve won before and I like the feeling, so there’s no reason for us to stop. It’s a winning April. Great. Let’s do more.”
With two games left this month, the Tigers (12-9) will end April above .500 one year after losing an AL-record 119 games in what was their 10th straight losing season.
Last year, they ended April 3-21 and it took them 47 games to earn their 12th victory.
Higginson, with the Tigers since 1995, said Detroit isn’t satisfied with its solid start.
“We’re looking to do this for the whole season, not just April,” he said. “A lot of the guys around here don’t know how bad it’s been, so I don’t think they really care.”
Mike Maroth improved to 3-1 after starting 0-9 last year before becoming baseball’s first 20-game loser since 1980.
Maroth gave up two runs—both in the first on Troy Glaus’ homer—on six hits and one walk over seven innings as the Tigers ended Anaheim’s five-game losing streak.
“I had a great April,” Maroth said. “I enjoyed all of April for myself, but I can’t enjoy it too much. I have to keep my mind straight.”
Bartolo Colon (3-2) was chased after giving up seven runs—matching the total of earned runs he gave up in four previous starts—on seven hits and three walks over four innings.
The hard-hitting Tigers scattered 15 hits all over the field as they often have this season. Detroit started the game with 123 runs scored, a total equaled only by Colorado in the major leagues. Last season, the Tigers were next-to-last in baseball with 591 runs.
“They’re a vastly improved club,” Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia said. “A totally different club. They beat us up.”
Glaus’ two-run homer, his seventh, put the Angels ahead 2-0 in the first, but they didn’t have the lead for long.
Rondell White’s two-run double in the home half—giving him 21 RBIs—tied the game.
The Tigers roughed Colon up in the third.
They loaded the bases with two singles and a walk, and scored the first of five runs when Colon hit White in the shoulder with a pitch. Higginson followed with a two-run double, Carlos Pena had a sacrifice fly and Craig Monroe added an RBI single.
“Every pitch that I threw was high and the hitters took advantage of it and made me pay for it,” Colon said. “There’s no secret about it.”
The Tigers have scored at least 10 runs five times, and at least five in 15 of 21 games.
Both teams were without one of their stars.
Ivan Rodriguez was scratched from Detroit’s lineup with a finger injury. After the game, Rodriguez said his finger is bruised and he’s day-to-day.
Anaheim placed outfielder Garret Anderson on the 15-day disabled listWednesday, retroactive to April 22, with upper back stiffness.
Detroit’s Alex Sanchez extended his hitting streak to 11 games, matching a career best. … Anaheim had won 15 of 16 against the Tigers. … Rodriguez was hurt Tuesday when Adam Kennedy slid into him. … The 31-year-old Anderson went on the DL for the first time in his career and was to return to California for more tests. … Detroit RHP Fernando Rodney is scheduled to have season-ending elbow surgery Thursday. Rodney split time between Detroit andTriple-A Toledo last season.