Angels 11, Tigers 9
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—For two years, Al Levine has tried to prove to Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia that he shouldn’t have been left off the 2002 World Series roster.
So far, Levine hasn’t done anything against the Angels to change Scioscia’s mind.
Vladimir Guerrero made up for a key error with a tying RBI single, Troy Glaus hit a go-ahead, two-run homer and the Angels rallied past the Detroit Tigers 11-9 Monday night for their ninth victory in 11 games.
Levine (2-2) blew the 6-2 lead he inherited from Tigers starter Mike Maroth, who left with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth. By the time Levine departed, the Angels had six more hits and an 8-6 lead.
“Al’s been a good reliever for a long time. And up until probably the last three outings, he’s been doing a heck of a job for Detroit,” Scioscia said. “We roughed him up a little bit up there, and fortunately we got to him tonight.”
“You never like to see your friends get hit like that,” Angels closer Troy Percival said. “He’s a real good pitcher, but it’s pretty tough when you’re pitching against guys who have played behind you for so many years and know exactly what you’re going to do. And I think that’s what he got caught up with against Bengie.”
The Angels added three more in the seventh on Guerrero’s run-scoring hit and Glaus’ eighth homer on a 3-0 pitch.
Rookie reliever Kevin Gregg (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh. Detroit scored three runs in the ninth, but Percival got two outs for his eighth save in nine chances despite giving up an RBI double to Carlos Guillen.
“You’re not always going to be pretty,” Percival said. “That team’s pretty aggressive at the plate and they put the ball in play a lot. So you take what you can get when you’re playing a team that can hit like that.”
Anaheim scored three runs in each of its last three at-bats. Maroth was charged with five runs, five hits and four walks—two in the sixth when the Angels began their comeback with a leadoff walk to Chone Figgins.
“I started losing my command a little bit,” Maroth said. “That’s not the way you want to start an inning after you get up by four runs. I should have gotten ahead of Figgins and make him put it in play early in the count instead of setting up the inning that way. That was probably the biggest disappointment for me.”
Guerrero cost his team two runs in the sixth with his first error of the season. The four-time All-Star misplayed Eric Munson’s flyball in the alley after an RBI single by Guillen, giving Detroit a 6-2 lead.
“I have no excuses,” Guerrero said through a translator. “I don’t know what happened. I don’t want to make an error. But you don’t bring those things to the plate.”
Ivan Rodriguez, who missed Sunday’s home game against Seattle to attend to personal matters, gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the first inning with his third homer of the season and first in 18 career at-bats against Bartolo Colon.
Alex Sanchez added an RBI single in the second after a two-out double by Munson. Colon was charged with six runs—four earned—and 10 hits in six innings.
The Angels scored their first two runs in the fourth. Jose Guillen and Molina hit consecutive RBI singles, moments after Figgins was tagged out in a rundown between third and home on a tapper back to Maroth.
“They have a good-hitting lineup, but we knew that coming in,” Maroth said. “They’re going to put the ball in play. It’s surprising that they areable to do it with some of their guys on the DL. But they’re gamers.”
Angels RHP Ramon Ortiz, who is 1-3 with a 9.28 ERA in five starts, was demoted to the bullpen. RHP Aaron Sele will start Thursday instead. RHP Kelvim Escobar, who missed last Saturday’s scheduled start because of a cracked nail on his middle finger, will take his next turn Wednesday night. … The Angels have had at least one extra-base hit in all 26 games. … The Tigers usually fly on owner Mike Ilitch’s private plane. But they had to settle for a charter flight from Detroit to Anaheim because Ilitch’s other team—the Red Wings— has first priority during the NHL playoffs. The plane is all theirs now, because the Red Wings were eliminated 1-0 at Calgary in overtime Monday night. … Detroit’s Bobby Higginson is hitless in his last 16 at-bats. … Angels SS David Eckstein returned to the lineup after missing all but one inning of the team’s 7-2 road trip because of a groin strain. … Glaus, who jammed his left shoulder while diving for a grounder at third base Friday in Minnesota, was theDH for the third straight game.