On Friday night, Los Angeles Angels left-hander Patrick Sandoval pitched a complete-game shutout and limited the Detroit Tigers to four hits. Less than 24 hours later, in Saturday's afternoon contest, the Tigers had better plate appearances against lefty Reid Detmers.
As a result, the Tigers scratched out a win.
They beat the Angels, 4-3, in front of 23,581 fans in the second of three games at Comerica Park. The series is tied ahead of Sunday's matchup between two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani and righty Eduardo Rodriguez.
The Tigers (46-76) picked up their 10th win since July 9 — a span of 39 games. In their latest victory, the offense showed signs of life: 11 hits, three walks, only five strikeouts and a 4-for-11 mark with runners in scoring position.
Those results were just enough.
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Left-hander Tyler Alexander, firmly entrenched in the rotation amid injuries to other starters, walked off the mound and shook manager A.J. Hinch's hand following the top of the sixth inning. He allowed three runs on seven hits and one walk with two strikeouts over six frames.
Right-handers Alex Lange and Joe Jiménez pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Left-handed closer Gregory Soto worked around a one-out walk in the ninth for his 23rd save.
The Tigers grabbed their 5-4 lead in the fifth inning while chasing Detmers. Jeimer Candelario (walk) and Kody Clemens (single) reached with one out and forced the Angels into a pitching change.
Righty reliever Jamie Barría took over for Detmers.
Barria struck out Tucker Barnhart on three pitches, but Victor Reyes saved the inning with a go-ahead RBI single on a slider. Reyes hit the ball back up the middle — as the Tigers had runners in scoring position — to score Candelario.
Detmers gave up four runs on 10 hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 4⅓ innings. He threw 54 of 81 pitches for strikes.
Before the 5th inning
As the Tigers scored twice in the second and once in the third, the Angels countered with one run each in the first, second and third innings. Ohtani, on the second pitch of the game, hammered his 18th double this season.
An RBI single from Luis Rengifo put Los Angeles ahead 1-0.
In the second, Alexander lost a nine-pitch battle against Andrew Velazquez. There were two outs, and Velazquez belted the fourth consecutive four-seam fastball from Alexander for a solo home run and 2-0 lead.
The Tigers countered in the bottom of the second, thanks to Harold Castro opening the inning with a leadoff double to the right-field wall. He scored on Jonathan Schoop's one-out double to right-center for Detroit's first run.
Castro has 18 doubles this season; Schoop has 20.
The next batter, Tucker Barnhart, singled on a line drive to right fielder Taylor Ward. Third base coach Ramon Santiago tried to score Schoop from second base, but as the throw from Ward was caught by catcher Max Stassi, Schoop realized he had no chance of winning the race to the plate. He was called out for leaving the baseline.
Schoop exited the game with an ankle injury. Manager A.J. Hinch annouced it was a sprain post-game; Schoop is day-to-day.
The second inning continued with back-to-back singles from Reyes and Riley Greene to load the bases. Detmers walked Willi Castro on six pitches to drive in the Tigers' second run, which tied the game at two runs.
But Javier Báez popped out on a first-pitch curveball to strand the bases loaded.
The Tigers had five hits and one walk in the second but only managed two runs. In the third, Eric Haase sparked another opportunity with a double to left field. Harold Castro dropped a sacrifice bunt and advanced Haase to the hot corner.
Haase then scored on Candelario's sacrifice fly.
Jo Adell had a sacrifice fly in the top of the third, so after Candelario's sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the frame, the Tigers and Angels were tied, 3-3, after three innings. The Tigers left two runners in scoring position in the third when Reyes lined out to a leaping Mike Trout in center field.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers scratch out 4-3 win over L.A. Angels