Angels 13, Tigers 4
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Three straight routs by Los Angeles left the Detroit Tigers wondering who the defending American League champions actually were— themselves or the Angels.
“I think we’re a good team,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said after watching his club get outscored 34-13 in the series. “I think you saw two good teams. One of them was playing good and one of them wasn’t. Obviously, the one that was, swept the series and the other one got swept.”
This was only the second time in the Angels’ 47-year history that they scored at least 10 runs in three consecutive games, and the first time against one opponent. In May 1997, they beat the Mariners 11-9 and 18-3 at Anaheim, and followed with a 12-2 rout at Toronto.
“We’ve played well at home all year, and I expect us to because we’ve got a track record now,” Matthews said. “Garret’s been hot this month now that he’s healthy again, and he’s really seemed to bring a presence and some balance to the lineup.”
Dustin Moseley, making a spot start for the injured Bartolo Colon, threw 87 pitches and came within one out of the required five innings for a victory. The disappointed right-hander was pulled with a 12-2 lead after loading the bases with a walk to Gary Sheffield.
“We had a range for Dustin, as far as pitch count, and he got to the higher end of the range. So that was enough,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We were looking at anywhere from 75 to possible 90 pitches as a last resort—if he was maintaining his stuff. But he was getting a little fuzzy at the end, so it was time for a change.”
Two more runs were charged to Moseley after Craig Monroe greeted Chris Bootcheck (3-2) with a two-run single. It was the only hit allowed by right-hander, who was credited with the victory after pitching 2 1-3 innings.
Jeremy Bonderman (10-3) lost his second straight start after winning 10 of his previous 11 decisions. He retired only seven of the 20 batters he faced in his shortest outing of the season, surrendering 11 runs—10 earned—and nine hits in 2 1-3 innings.
The Angels built a 12-1 lead in the first three innings. They scored four runs in the first on Kotchman’s sacrifice fly, a two-run triple by Matthews and an RBI double by Maicer Izturis. Both second-inning runs came in on wild pitches with Anderson at the plate.
The Angels put it away with six runs in the third. Izturis scored when Bonderman fielded Reggie Willits’ sacrifice bunt and threw the ball past first base. The right-hander then gave up an RBI single to Chone Figgins and walked Orlando Cabrera before manager Jim Leyland took him out.
“Sometimes you come into a series and you just get your butt whipped,” Sheffield said. “The Angels are playing well right now and they’re doing all the right things to win ballgames. Regardless of how many they score, we always feel like we’re going to come back. But when they keep tacking on, it makes it that much more difficult.”
Chad Durbin relieved Bonderman and hit Vladimir Guerrero on the left shoulder with his second pitch, forcing on a run. He immediately received a warning from umpire Ed Montague, who also warned both dugouts. Anderson followed with a two-run single, and Kotchman made it 12-1 with a fielder’s choice grounder.
Earlier that inning, Figgins stole second with the Angels leading 9-1. But Leyland didn’t feel that the Angels were trying to show up his team, and insisted that Durbin didn’t plunk Guerrero in retaliation.
“I can assure you that we weren’t in any way, shape or form throwing at Guerrero,” Leyland said. “He’s a very aggressive guy and a tremendous hitter. Durbin tried to run the ball in on his hands and it got away and hit him. If I thought Durbin did do it on purpose, I’d have been upset with him. But I know he didn’t do it on purpose.
“It looked bad, but nobody on our side had any problem with the Angels running in that situation,” Leyland added. “It was the third inning of the ballgame, and we’re a pretty good offensive team. So the third inning’s awful early to expect them to shut it down.”
Detroit maintained its half-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central because of the Indians’ 4-1 loss to Minnesota. The Tigers haven’t been out of first place since July 5. Cleveland is the only other team to sweep them in a three game series this season. … The Angels have won 37 of their last 51 meetings with Detroit, and 48 of the last 63 played in Anaheim. … Curtis Granderson hit his major league-leading 17th triple, the most by a Tigers player since Barney McCoskey’s 19 in 1940. No one else has hit more than 14 triples in a season since then. … Sheffield’s fourth-inning single put him one hit shy of 2,500.