The Los Angeles Angels finally have consecutive victories on their 10-game homestand, though closing out the stay with another one could be difficult against one of the AL’s win leaders.
As Los Angeles looks to win this four-game set Sunday, Detroit’s Rick Porcello will try become the league’s first 13-game winner while helping the Tigers avoid their ninth loss in 10 games in Anaheim.
Although they have the majors’ second-best home record at 37-19, the Angels (62-41) dropped four of seven to begin this homestand before regrouping to take the last two versus the AL Central leaders.
Five Los Angeles pitchers held the Tigers to six hits in Friday’s 2-1 victory before Matt Shoemaker and two relievers limited them to a month-low four in Saturday’s 4-0 win.
Detroit (57-44), however, might not need much more scoring to bounce back.
Porcello (12-5, 3.42 ERA) has gone 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA in his last six outings. He’s among 10 pitchers tied for the major league lead in wins, but St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright is the only other one of that group scheduled to start Sunday.
Porcello also leads the AL in road wins with eight after going 3-0 with a 1.24 ERA in his last four starts away from home. The right-hander did not factor in Tuesday’s 5-4 loss at Arizona despite surrendering three runs over seven innings.
His two career starts at Angel Stadium haven’t gone nearly as well. He allowed six runs over 4 1-3 innings in a 6-5 loss in April 2010 before giving up a career-worst nine earned runs while recording only two outs in a 10-0 defeat in April 2013.
All-Star Mike Trout hit a grand slam off Porcello in that game and is 4 for 12 lifetime against him.
"I think I’m a different pitcher now than when they got to me," Porcello told MLB’s official website. "Nine runs in one inning, it’s one of those days where you just kind of don’t even remember that."
Porcello, 4-4 with a 7.39 ERA in 10 career meetings, snapped a three-start losing streak to the Angels on April 20 when he held them to one run over seven innings in a 2-1 win.
Josh Hamilton has given Porcello trouble with six hits, including two home runs, in 13 at-bats. The outfielder is expected to return after missing most of the last two games because of a sore left knee.
Los Angeles’ Hector Santiago (2-7, 4.02) hasn’t given up a run in two games since the All-Star break, throwing 2 2-3 innings of relief before pitching five innings of two-hit ball in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Baltimore.
After going 0-6 with a 5.19 ERA in his first seven starts, getting demoted to the bullpen and eventually the minors, the left-hander has a 3.45 ERA in six starts since being recalled June 10.
"He’s given us a big boost since coming back into the rotation," manager Mike Scioscia said.
Santiago is 0-3 despite a 2.28 ERA in four career starts versus Detroit. In his only start against the Tigers in 2014, he held them to two hits and two unearned runs while fanning seven over 5 2-3 innings in a 2-1 road loss.
He’s limited Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez to a combined 5 for 34 (.147). Jackson has had at least two hits in 12 of his last 15 games, hitting .406 over that span.
Alex Avila is 0 for 8 against Santiago and enters in a 1-for-24 slump.