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Trumbo's 13th-inning homer completes Angels' sweep

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels needed extra innings to complete their first series sweep of the season.

Mark Trumbo's leadoff home run in the bottom of the 13th lifted the Angels to a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday afternoon at Angel Stadium.

The blast off Tigers reliever Phil Coke, Trumbo's third career walk-off home run, capped the Angels' third win in the series. The fact that the sweep came against the defending American League champs was significant considering how poorly the Angels were playing previously.

"It's pretty well chronicled that we've been struggling early on," said Trumbo, who has two home runs this year. "But three wins against a team of this caliber is an excellent sign. We got great starting pitching, great offense. ... First and foremost, our pitchers did an outstanding job and gave us a chance to do some things offensively."

In particular, the Angels bullpen made it all possible Sunday. After starter C.J. Wilson managed to bob and weave his way through six innings, five Angels relievers combined to shut out the potent Tigers lineup for seven innings. Jerome Williams (1-0) pitched the final three innings to earn the win. Dane De La Rosa, Sean Burnett, Ernesto Frieri and Scott Downs each pitched one scoreless inning.

Mike Trout and Brendan Harris both had two hits for the Angels, while Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Omar Infante had two hits apiece for the Tigers.

Wilson had an uneven performance. In the third, fourth and sixth innings, he was perfect. In the first, second and fifth innings, he gave up three runs, five hits (including a Fielder home run) and four walks.

"Today I really didn't have my best stuff," Wilson said. "I was missing with my breaking ball early, it was breaking way too big, my changeup was a non-factor, so I had to just go fastball, cutter, slider and compete. Try to get everybody to miss at the ball."

Tigers starter Doug Fister, coming off wins in all three of his previous starts, pitched well enough to win on Sunday. He gave up three runs (two earned) and six hits in seven innings.

That left the game to be decided by the bullpens, and both pitched well. For the Tigers, Al Alburquerque threw two perfect innings, striking out five of the six hitters he faced. Joaquin Benoit found trouble in the 10th inning but escaped the jam. Coke (0-2) held the Angels scoreless in the 11th and 12th innings before Trumbo unloaded on a 3-1 count leading off the 13th.

"What a game, it was a great game," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Great pitching, and they finally got the big fly."

Early-inning struggles for Wilson continued Sunday, but he managed to work through it with minimal damage. Singles by Torii Hunter and Cabrera with one out got the Tigers going in the first, but it appeared Wilson would get out of it when Fielder hit a bouncer back to the mound. Wilson, though, stumbled and the ball deflected off his glove. Instead of an inning-ending double play ball, the Tigers had the bases loaded with one out.

"I overreacted because I thought the ball was hit harder," Wilson said of the play. "So I put myself in that position, obviously. I still felt good, because I was making tough pitches, challenging hitters."

Wilson got the huge second out with a strikeout of Victor Martinez, then retired Matt Tuiasosopo and a flyout to end the inning.

Wilson was wild in the second inning, walking three and allowing a single to Infante, but the Tigers managed to push across only one run.

The Angels scored three runs in the third against Fister, the key play coming when the Angels had runners on first and third with one out. With Trout breaking from first base on the pitch, Albert Pujols hit a line drive at Cabrera at third base. But the ball deflected off Cabrera's glove and went into shallow left field.

Luis Jimenez easily scored from third, and Trout motored all the way around to score and put the Angels up, 2-1. Pujols, who was credited with a double, scored later in the inning on a throwing error by Infante at second base, giving the Angels a 3-1 lead.

Wilson retired the Tigers in order in the third and fourth innings, but Fielder crushed a fastball from Wilson into the right field bleachers for a two-run homer in the fifth, tying the game at 3-3. For the Tigers, the runs stopped there.

"We didn't make a couple of plays, that's part of the game," Leyland said. "We didn't get a couple hits when we had opportunities. I think that pretty much sums it up."

NOTES: Pujols started at designated hitter for the fourth game in a row and sixth of the last seven games. He has been slowed by plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and manager Mike Scioscia said he is trying to "nurse him through" the early part of season. Going into Sunday's game, Pujols is hitting .444 (16 for 36) with two homers and 11 RBIs as a DH, .148 (4-for-27) with no homers and two RBIs when playing first base. ... LHP Drew Smyly's seven strikeouts Saturday in 5 2/3 innings against the Angels were the most by a Tigers reliever since Fernando Rodney had seven in July 2005. Smyly leads all major league relievers in innings pitched (15) and strikeouts (17). ... Angels RHP Ryan Madson, recovering from Tommy John surgery last April, hopes to begin a minor league rehab assignment late next week and join the major league club in early to mid-May. Madson has not pitched in the majors since 2011, when he had 32 saves for the Phillies. ... Tigers SS Jhonny Peralta, who went 1-for-5 with a walk, has reached base safely in 11 consecutive games. He's hitting .348 (16 for 46) during that stretch.
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