After the Los Angeles Angels had their offense bottled up by Max Scherzer to end a ten-game series win streak against Detroit, they may be poised for an outburst given their history against Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello.
Los Angeles seeks its fifth win in six games Sunday at Detroit.
The Angels (8-9) only managed three hits and struck out nine times Saturday against Scherzer, who worked seven innings in the Tigers’ 5-2 win. J.B. Shuck’s leadoff homer provided the only run for Los Angeles against the reigning AL Cy Young winner.
Shuck’s home run and Albert Pujols’ 498th career blast off Joe Nathan in the ninth were the Angels’ only extra-base hits after they had 10 in Friday’s 11-7 victory.
Mike Trout, who came in hitting .424 with eight RBIs over his previous seven games, struck out three times against Scherzer and once against Nathan for his first career four-strikeout game.
"Some days you’ve just got to tip your cap," Trout said.
Trout and the Angels could be in for a better result against Porcello (1-1, 4.15 ERA), who is 3-4 in nine career starts against them with an 8.34 ERA – his second-highest versus an opponent he’s faced at least three times. Porcello’s worst is his 10.42 ERA in five games against Boston.
Porcello has been especially bad against Los Angeles recently, posting a 12.42 ERA over his last four matchups with three straight losing decisions. He surrendered 16 runs over five innings in two meetings last season.
Trout is 4 for 10 off Porcello with six RBIs, while Pujols is 3 for 7 with two doubles. Pujols owns an OPS of 1.242 over his last 10 games with six homers and 13 RBIs.
Porcello is also coming off a rough outing, yielding 10 hits and five earned runs over 6 1-3 innings of a 6-0 loss at San Diego on April 11.
Scherzer’s performance was a blessing for the Tigers (8-6) after their bullpen had thrown 14 innings over the previous three games.
"I can’t say enough about how important that start was – not only for us as a team, but just for the bullpen," manager Brad Ausmus said. "We had a bunch of guys out there who really could use a day off."
Detroit’s hitters will dig in against left-hander Hector Santiago (0-2, 4.96), who is 0-2 with a 2.48 ERA in 10 career games against Detroit, including three starts. He allowed eight runs over 9 1-3 innings in his first two starts but was solid in a 3-2 loss to Oakland on Monday, limiting the Athletics to one run in seven innings. He would have recorded his first victory in nine starts if not for Ernesto Frieri’s blown save.
Ian Kinsler is 4 for 9 against southpaws this season with a home run.
Victor Martinez, who hit his third homer Saturday, is 7 for 17 (.412) during a five-game hitting streak.
David Freese missed his second straight game due to a tight right quadriceps, though he’s hopeful he’ll play Sunday, according to the team’s website.