Angels 10, Tigers 3
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—An 11-year-old fan helped Garret Anderson hit a big home run.
Garret Anderson hit a disputed three-run homer in the eighth inning to break open a tie game, Orlando Cabrera added a two-run homer to cap the seven-run inning, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Detroit Tigers 10-3 on Saturday.
Starting his third inning of relief, Jason Grilli (5-3) gave up an infield hit to Vladimir Guerrero leading off the eighth and was replaced by Tim Byrdak. Casey Kotchman sacrificed the runner to second, and Gary Matthews Jr. was intentionally walked before Anderson drove a 1-0 pitch toward the top of the 18-foot wall in right field.
Jose Castilla, an 11-year-old Angels fan dressed in a red shirt and team cap, appeared to reach over the railing and glove the ball. But first base umpire Ed Montague ruled it a home run—Anderson’s fifth. Tigers manager Jim Leyland came out to argue that it should have been a ground-rule double, but the decision stood.
“I don’t talk about the umpires. I don’t get into that,” Leyland grumbled. “I don’t want to discuss umpires. I mean, you guys saw the play, so nobody needs to ask me about it. Form your own opinion.”
Magglio Ordonez, the Tigers’ right fielder, said he didn’t have a good perception of what actually happened because he was near the wall and looking skyward. But TV replays proved the Tigers were robbed. So did a still photographer’s shot of the boy reaching over the wall.
“I was in the clubhouse when it happened, but I was able to see the replay and I saw it was clearly not a home run,” Tigers DH Gary Sheffield said. “They called it a home run, but the replay showed the kid reached over and interfered with the ball. It was a judgment call. That’s just the way it is. If we’re not playing better, the breaks don’t go our way.”
The Angels are used to seeing that kind of clutch hitting from their all-time RBI leader. So are the guys who came here from other teams—like Matthews.
“Give Garret credit. He’s a professional hitter, he’s been in the league 13 years and he’s had some monster years,” Matthews said. “He’s battled staying healthy this year. But when he’s in there, he’s been great. That was a veteran hitter stepping up in a key situation and having enough experience to wait it out and get his pitch.”
The Angels tacked on four more that inning, including Cabrera’s first-pitch homer off Jose Capellan. The two homers matched the total the Angels hit in their previous 19 games combined.
Scot Shields (3-3) pitched a hitless eighth inning for the win. It was the right-hander’s 34th with the Angels, tying Dave LaRoche’s club record for victories by a reliever.
“Did I tie it? That’s cool,” Shields said. “It’s been a good ride so far. I take pride in wanting the ball. I may not get the results, but I don’t back down and I go right at you. I got that from Troy Percival and other guys who were here before me, and I think that’s paid off so far.”
In a matchup of former first-round draft picks who are just starting to establish themselves at the major league level, Detroit’s Andrew Miller (No. 6 overall in 2006) and Angels lefty Joe Saunders (No.12 overall in 2002) battled to a 1-1 tie through five innings. Neither got a decision, as the Tigers’ bullpen coughed up a 3-1 lead Magglio Ordonez gave Miller in the sixth with a towering two-run homer against Saunders that bounced off the rock formation in left-center.
Miller was pulled in the bottom of the inning after giving up a leadoff walk to Cabrera. Kotchman came through one out later with his second pinch-hit double in two days, driving in Cabrera, and Jeff Mathis singled home the tying run after a two-out intentional walk to Anderson.
Miller was charged with two runs and five hits over five-plus innings in his 10th big league start, striking out four and walking four. Saunders allowed three runs and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings and struck out four. The left-hander was inserted into the rotation on July 22, four days after Ervin Santana was demoted to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Ordonez, who leads the majors with a .354 average, has a .373 career mark at Angel Stadium—the highest among active players. … Placido Polanco’s first-inning single gave him a hit in six consecutive plate appearances, after his 5-for-5 effort in the Tigers’ 11-6 loss Friday night. … The Angels placed C Mike Napoli on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring—just seven days after trading backup Jose Molina to the Yankees. Mathis started behind the plate and Ryan Budde was promoted from Triple-A Salt Lake as his backup.