1:08 PM ET, April 19, 2014
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
Max Scherzer strikes out 9, gets first win of season as Tigers top Angels
DETROIT -- Max Scherzer gave Detroit's beleaguered bullpen a bit of a breather.
Detroit had dropped 10 straight to the Angels, including an 11-6 loss the previous night in which Los Angeles battered the Tigers with 10 extra-base hits.
"I realized it was important to get deep into a game, and that's why even after the sixth inning I said, 'Let me go back out there,' " Scherzer said. "I know our bullpen has been taxed as of late."
Albert Pujols hit his 498th homer, connecting for a solo shot in the ninth for Los Angeles.
Scherzer has Trout's number
Mike Trout struck out three times against Max Scherzer on Saturday. Trout has struck out eight times in 13 plate appearances against Scherzer, third-most of any pitcher he's faced.
|--ESPN Stats & Information|
Scherzer (1-1) allowed a run and three hits with two walks. The AL Cy Young Award winner struck Pujols out twice and shut down Trout, rebounding quickly after giving up a homer to J.B. Shuck to lead off the game.
"Some days you've just got to tip your cap. (Scherzer) made a few good pitches," Trout said. "He's got good life on his fastball. The ball, in the middle, kind of rises up from that kind of sidearm motion."
"He's a great hitter, and I respect everything that he does," Scherzer said. "You've got to be really aggressive right back at him."
C.J. Wilson (2-2) gave up three earned runs in five innings.
Shuck led off the game with a homer, but that was all the scoring for the Angels until Pujols homered for the second straight day, hitting his sixth shot of the season.
In a sign of things to come, Scherzer struck out Trout, Pujols and Raul Ibanez immediately after allowing the homer to Shuck. Wilson made it through a shaky first inning, but Castellanos hit a two-run homer in the second to put the Tigers ahead to stay.
Detroit added an unearned run in the third. Miguel Cabrera reached on an error by right fielder Brennan Boesch and went to second on a wild pitch. Cabrera was then called out at third when Trout -- his foil from the last two American League MVP races -- made a nice throw from center. The Tigers challenged the call, however, and Cabrera was ruled safe.
Cabrera scored on a sacrifice fly by Austin Jackson to make it 3-1.
The Tigers thought they'd escaped a jam in the fourth when Ian Stewart was called out trying to steal second, but the Angels challenged and the call was overturned. With runners on second and third, Scherzer struck out Erick Aybar for the third out.
Martinez added a solo homer in the fifth, and Ian Kinsler's sacrifice fly in the eighth made it 5-1.
Scherzer, meanwhile, looked every bit his Cy Young self. Trout, Pujols and Ibanez -- the second, third and fourth hitters in the Los Angeles lineup -- went 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts and a walk against the Detroit starter.
"I can't say enough about how important that start was -- not only for us as a team, but just for the bullpen," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We had a bunch of guys out there who really could use a day off."
It's no surprise when Scherzer pitches well, but Chamberlain's performance may have been even more encouraging. He retired the side on eight pitches -- all strikes -- in the eighth.
"If he keeps throwing all strikes, he'll pitch a lot," Ausmus said.
The Angels have outscored opponents 19-5 in the first inning this year. ... Los Angeles entered the game with a major league-high 27 homers and an AL-worst 20 homers allowed -- then added to both those totals. ... Detroit RHP Rick Porcello (1-1) faces Angels LHP Hector Santiago (0-2) on Sunday.
DETROIT, MI - APRIL 19: J. B Shuck #3 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim rounds third base after hitting a first...(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|1st||J Shuck homered to right (356 feet).||1||0|
|2nd||N Castellanos homered to left (392 feet), A Jackson scored.||1||2|
|3rd||A Jackson hit sacrifice fly to right, M Cabrera scored.||1||3|
|5th||V Martinez homered to left (414 feet).||1||4|
|8th||I Kinsler hit sacrifice fly to center, B Holaday scored.||1||5|
|9th||A Pujols homered to left (408 feet).||2||5|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Comerica Park, Detroit, MI|
|Attendance||36,659 (88.9% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||50 degrees, sunny|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Quinn Wolcott, Third Base - Gerry Davis|
How Tigers starter Max Scherzer beat the Angels:
- Scherzer got to two strikes on 19 of 25 hitters and retired 15 of them. The 76 percent of plate appearances to reach two strikes matches his highest in a start in the last two seasons.
- The Angels missed on 56 percent of their swings against Scherzer's offspeed pitches, the highest such percentage by any opponent against Scherzer in the last two seasons.
- Scherzer's four strikeouts with his changeup were one shy of his season high from last season, and the Angels were 0 for 8 in at-bats ending with his changeup.
- Sixty-four percent (9 of 14) balls the Angels put in play against Scherzer were grounders. That matches the second-highest percentage by any team against Scherzer in his five years on the Tigers.
How Max Scherzer beat Mike Trout:
- Scherzer struck out Trout all three times he faced him. Of the 14 pitches Scherzer made to Trout, 13 were outer-half pitches and 10 were outer-third pitches. The one inner-half pitch Scherzer threw to Trout was off the plate inside.
- Trout has a career .255 batting average and .413 slugging percentage on pitches to the outer third or further outside and a .345 average and .619 slugging percentage on pitches to the middle third or further inside.
ESPN Stats & Information
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