ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—The Angels’ defense has come through all season. Not this time, though.
Curtis Granderson gave Detroit the lead with a three-run inside-the-park homer and Magglio Ordonez and Craig Monroe also homered in the Tigers’ 8-6 victory over slumping Los Angeles on Thursday night.
The Angels lost their fourth in a row, dropping them into a first-place tie in the AL West with Oakland, which beat Boston 6-2.
“This is out of the blue,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Everything you could have messed up, we messed up out there. These guys have played terrific defense all year, so it’s very uncharacteristic.”
Mike Maroth (13-13) got the victory, allowing six runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out two and walking two in beating the Angels for the third time this season. Craig Dingman pitched the ninth for his fourth save in five chances.
The Tigers scored all their runs with two outs against Bartolo Colon (19-7), who won his previous eight decisions and was trying to become the Angels’ first 20-game winner since Nolan Ryan won 22 in 1974.
“I can’t deny the fact that I thought about it, but I don’t think that added any pressure to me,” Colon said through a translator.
Colon gave up eight runs—seven earned—and nine hits in five innings, struck out five and walked one in losing for the first time since July 16 at Minnesota. He is 0-2 against Detroit this season.
“I hung pitches and threw fastballs right down the middle of the plate. I give them credit for not missing,” Colon said. “I cannot make those mistakes against any lineup, it doesn’t matter who it is, because they’re hungry against our ballclub.”
Three starts ago, Colon left early because of a sore back, which he has received regular treatment on. But he said it didn’t affect his performance.
“I do feel a little stiff, but there’s no pain,” he said. “It was just a matter of not making good pitches and an aggressive team getting to me.”
Granderson’s inside-the-park homer came on the first pitch he saw from Colon in the fourth inning, giving Detroit a 4-2 lead. Center fielder Figgins leaped toward the wall, but the ball hit off it and rolled back toward the field.
“When I saw him jump for it and it kicked away, I just put my head down,” said Granderson, who saw third base coach Juan Samuel waving him home. “I kept on going, hoping there wasn’t going to be a play at the plate. I don’t think I would have been able to slide because I started running out of gas.”
The Angels closed to 4-3 in the fourth on Guerrero’s second homer of the game.
Guerrero, who hit a two-run homer in the first for the Angels’ only lead, left in the sixth because of a jammed left shoulder. He hurt himself trying to make a diving catch of Vance Wilson’s double.
“It’s not anywhere near what he did three months ago, where he missed that much time,” Scioscia said.
The Tigers got four runs in the fifth to chase Colon. Ordonez homered, pinch hitter Wilson had a RBI double and Monroe hit a two-run homer for an 8-3 lead.
“We got a few runs off Colon, who arguably right now is the leading candidate for the Cy Young Award,” Tigers coach Alan Trammell said. “That’s very pleasing. The matchup would say that the Angels were favored big-time. But that’s why you play.”
Wilson replaced Ivan Rodriguez, who left because of a right hamstring spasm.
“He had a cramp and just couldn’t get rid of it,” Trammell said. “He was in the dugout later in the game, so that was a good sign.”
Detroit trailed 2-1 in the third. Brandon Inge singled with two outs and scored all the way from first base when Figgins got a late start on Chris Shelton’s fly ball and ran under it as the ball fell behind him for an error.
“The ball didn’t come down where Figgy thought it would, but it certainly wasn’t a routine play,” Scioscia said.
Granderson had the Tigers’ first inside-the-park homer since May 31, 2004, when Carlos Guillen did it against Kansas City. … After the game, the Tigers brought up four players from Triple-A Toledo. OF Marcus Thames and RHP Mark Woodyard were recalled. They also purchased the contracts of RHP Jason Karnuth and RHP Jason Grilly, and transferred OF Bobby Higginson from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster. … Guerrero registered his 100th RBI and 30th homer in his first at-bat, the seventh time in eight seasons that he’s reached those milestones. … Colon dropped to 10-2 in games started after an Angels’ loss. … Figgins went 0-for-5, ending his career-best 13-game hitting streak. … The announced crowd of 41,962 pushed the Angels’ attendance over the 3 million mark for the third straight season.