Angels 7, Tigers 2

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DETROIT (AP)—Mike Napoli and Tommy Murphy gave the Los Angeles Angels a lift in their major league debuts.

Napoli homered in his first major league at-bat, and Murphy hit a run-scoring single in a two-run fifth inning as the Angels stopped their longest losing streak since 2002 at six games with a 7-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.

Vladimir Guerrero had four hits, including a three-run homer, and Casey Kotchman hit a tiebreaking homer for the Angels.

Napoli, a 24-year-old catcher brought up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday night, became the 92nd player to homer in his first major league at-bat, connecting off Justin Verlander (3-3) leading off the third inning.

“Just trying to put a good swing on a pitch in the zone,” Napoli said. “I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Napoli, who went 1-for-4, became the third Angels player to accomplish the feat, joining Don Rose on (May 24, 1972, at Oakland) and Dave Machemer (June 21, 1978, at Minnesota).

“Mike did a good job behind the plate and got us going with a big hit,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Murphy, brought up before the game from Salt Lake, was 2-for-4 and made a sliding catch on Vance Wilson’s drive in the eighth.

“Murph in center field played great defense and gave us a couple of hits,” Scioscia said.

Kevin Gregg (2-0) allowed one run and three hits in seven innings, stopping Detroit’s six-game winning streak, the Tigers’ longest since June 24-30, 2004. Detroit, which entered with a major league-best 3.01 ERA, allowed just five runs during the streak.

“I just wanted to come out and challenge them, really, and not fall behind in the count,” Gregg said.

Verlander gave up four runs—three earned—and nine hits in six innings.

“I didn’t have the control I normally have, but I don’t know why,” said Verlander, who walked just one.

The Angels, who outhit Detroit 15-4, had not lost six straight since April 8-13, 2002.

“Justin didn’t have his good stuff,” Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland said. “And we didn’t do anything offensively.”

Detroit tied it in the fourth when Magglio Ordonez hit a sacrifice fly following Alexis Gomez’s one-out triple, but Kotchman led off the fifth with his first homer since Sept. 4, and Murphy lined a one-out single through the left side of a drawn-in infield.

Howie Kendrick, who also started the season at Salt Lake, hit an RBI single in the sixth. Guerrero homered in the seventh off Jordan Tata.

Curtis Granderson had a sacrifice fly for Detroit in the eighth against Brendan Donnelly.


The Angels placed RHP Chris Bootcheck on the 15-day DL retroactive to May 3, with a strained left hamstring. … Tigers DH-1B Dmitri Young, on a rehab assignment, was 1-for-4 for Double-A Erie on Wednesday night. He has been on the DL since April 15, with a right quadriceps strain.

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