Damon, Avila, Rhymes lead Tigers past Angels 9-4
“We look like fools,” Leyland said.
At least Rhymes got in another nice game before returning to Triple-A Toledo.
Rhymes had three hits and two RBIs to help Detroit beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-4 on Sunday.
Johnny Damon(notes) drove in three runs and Alex Avila(notes) also had two RBIs for the struggling Tigers, who snapped a four-game losing streak and avoided a sweep in the weekend series. Detroit scored three times in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings.
Rhymes was demoted after the game because the Tigers’ regular second baseman, Carlos Guillen(notes), will be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Monday. Guillen is finishing up a rehabilitation assignment at Class-A West Michigan after being sidelined with a right calf strain.
Rhymes, who was promoted when Guillen went on the DL on July 25, was the only player the Tigers could afford to send down.
“Carlos is a second baseman, he’s going to play and Rhymes doesn’t have anywhere to play,” Leyland said. “With the (lack of) flexibility of the roster, there wasn’t anything else we could do.”
Rhymes hit .259 with four RBIs in 15 games in his first stint in the majors. Leyland said he was impressive, particularly in the field.
“Those decisions are made before the game,” said Rhymes, who added he wasn’t told of the move until after the victory. “I’m glad I could have a good game and help the team win.
“It’s tough, but at the same time it was really just a numbers game. With Carlos here, I wouldn’t get any at-bats.”
Detroit chased Trevor Bell(notes) (1-3) in the sixth. Avila grounded a tiebreaking two-run single just past diving second baseman Maicer Izturis(notes) and Rhymes added a two-out RBI single off Michael Kohn(notes) that made it 6-3.
“We made more mistakes today than a lot of the games we lost,” Leyland said. “But nobody’s going to talk about that because we won.”
Porcello (5-10) allowed three runs, two earned, and eight hits in six innings to earn his first win since May 23.
“It feels good to finally help the team and get a win,” Porcello said. “I felt I had pretty good life on my fastball and a good breaking ball.”
Bell (1-3) yielded six runs, four earned, and nine hits.
“It’s just getting out of the big innings, that’s my problem. A couple things go wrong and I change the way I pitch,” Bell said. “It’s a dumb rookie thing. I let things get to my head too much. Then instead of focusing on a pitch I’m supposed to make, I’m thinking of where I don’t want them to hit it—and that’s where they hit it.”
The Angels took advantage of a pair of mistakes by Porcello to take a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Alberto Callaspo(notes) reached on the pitcher’s error to begin the inning, then moved to third on Izturis’ single to right. He scored on a wild pitch.
NOTES: Izturis batted cleanup for the first time in his career. Izturis now has batted in each spot in the batting order at least once during his career. … Angels OF Torii Hunter(notes) served the second game of his four-game suspension for his tantrum after being ejected from Friday night’s game. … Detroit CF Don Kelly(notes) made an outstanding catch on the warning track in straightaway center on Mathis’ drive with two on and two out in the second. Kelly then was robbed by CF Peter Bourgos in the third.