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Angels score nine in first, shut out Tigers

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Ho hum, no big deal.

Mike Trout hit his first career grand slam during a nine-run first inning and the Los Angeles Angels cruised to a 10-0 win over the Detroit Tigers Saturday afternoon at Angel Stadium, even if Trout wasn't too impressed with himself.

Peter Bourjos and Trout each had two hits in the first inning alone, accounting for four of the Angels' 10 hits in the inning. The big blow was Trout's second hit, the grand slam to center field that mercifully ended the day for Tigers starter Rick Porcello.

"It's just another home run," said Trout, who is starting to heat up -- he is hitting .440 (11 for 25) during his last six games. "It's cool, I guess. I really don't have much to say about it. I'm just happy it went over (the fence)."

The Angels finished with 14 hits, led by three from Bourjos and two each from Trout, Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo. Every batter in the starting lineup had at least one hit in the game, and in fact seven of the nine starters had at least one hit in the first inning.

Staked to the big lead, Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards went after the potent Tigers lineup, holding Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Co. scoreless for seven innings.

The early runs certainly helped Richards (1-0) settle in, and he responded by allowing just two hits while striking out eight and walking none. It was Richards' second start of the season since taking over in the rotation for the injured Jered Weaver. Richards did not get a decision in his first start, but the Angels won the game, beating the Houston Astros.

"As much as that first inning was incredible, I think the story of the day was the way Garrett Richards pitched against a tough lineup," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You just don't see that lineup shut down like that very often, and he pitched terrific baseball for us for seven innings."

Porcello (0-2) never made it out of the first inning, getting tagged for all nine first-inning runs and nine hits in only two-thirds of an inning.

"Ricky was obviously a little rusty, a little wild, a little unlucky and that pretty much sums it up," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "We played the game all right, we just got ambushed."

The closest the Tigers came to scoring against Richards came in the seventh inning after Cabrera led off with a double. He went to third on a groundout by Fielder, but Richards then struck out Victor Martinez for the second out and got Andy Dirks on a groundout to escape.

"The guys played great defense behind me and obviously the offense came alive, and that makes my job a little bit easier," Richards said. "At the same time, I really don't pay attention to the score. Every inning I have a job to do and that's to put up a zero."

Michael Roth (eighth inning) and Michael Kohn (ninth) pitched the final two innings to complete the shutout.

For much of the first inning, Porcello was not hit especially hard. Bourjos began the inning with an infield single, and Trout and Pujols followed with ground balls that found the hole up the middle, Pujols' hit scoring Bourjos for a 1-0 Angels lead.

After Josh Hamilton walked to load the bases, Trumbo had an RBI single, and Howie Kendrick hit another seeing-eye grounder up the middle, scoring two for a 4-0 Angels lead.

Chris Iannetta followed with the hardest hit ball of the inning to that point, but it was a scorcher at third baseman Cabrera, who began a 5-4-3 double play.

Brendan Harris then had an RBI single to make it 5-0, and that was followed by infield singles from Luis Jimenez and Bourjos again to load the bases.

That's when Trout unloaded, crushing a hanging breaking ball on a 1-2 count over the fence for a grand slam and 9-0 Angels lead, knocking Porcello out of the game.

"There's no defense for a grand slam," Leyland said. "Breaking ball over the middle of the plate and Trout hit it out."

The nine runs marked the Angels' biggest first inning since they scored 11 on June 29, 1995. And the 10 hits were the most ever in the first inning in franchise history.

NOTES: Angels RHP Mark Lowe was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a strained neck. In seven relief appearances, Lowe had allowed eight earned runs, four hits and eight walks in 6 1/3 innings. ... Infielder Tommy Field was called up from Class AAA Salt Lake to replace Lowe on the roster. Field was hitting .250 (15 for 60) with nine RBI in 16 games for the Bees. ... Tigers RF Hunter began the day with a 12-game hitting streak, and was leading the American League in batting average (.418), hits (28) and multi-hit games (11). ... CF Austin Jackson began the day leading the American League in runs scored with 19. He was also tied for second with eight multi-hit games and third with 25 hits.
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