The Detroit Tigers fell short at the Big A on Friday night, losing to the Angles 2-1.
Tyler Skaggs yielded five hits in 5 2-3 resourceful innings for the Angels and Los Angeles’ bullpen backed him up with 3 1-3 innings of one-hit relief, retiring nine straight along the way. Huston Street pitched the ninth for his second save in three appearances for the Angels.
Miguel Cabrera homered early and Drew Smyly (6-9) had a career-high 11 strikeouts while pitching into the sixth for the Tigers, who have lost seven of eight in Anaheim.
Efren Navarro and Kole Calhoun drove in runs in the sixth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels overcame Smyly’s early dominance to take the lead and never relinquish it.
After Detroit’s pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts in Thursday’s series opener, Smyly struck out eight of the Angels’ first 10 hitters. The left-hander overwhelmed Los Angeles until the sixth, retiring his first 13 batters and striking out nine different Angels.
Smyly’s worksheet after five innings read this way: He had 10 strikeouts, all swinging. He had matched his career high in strikeouts, set in a start against Kansas City in 2012.
Then it all changed abruptly with consecutive, one-out doubles by Chris Iannetta and Calhoun, followed by Navarro’s go-ahead RBI to chase Smyly. Navarro, a left-handed batter, was a 50th-round – 50th – pick in the 2007 draft. Until this year, the he’d had 14 at-bats in the big leagues.
Al Alburquerque took over and fanned Kendrick to strand runners at first and second.
Alburquerque stayed in for the seventh and gave up a leadoff single to Erick Aybar, who was caught stealing for the first out. John McDonald, who’d gone at third base for defense, drew a walk even though he was hitting .175 with no homers. Alburquerque retired the next two hitters.
Detroit’s Justin Verlander faces Matt Shoemaker on Saturday night at the Big A.