Angels hit five home runs in first two innings to beat Tigers
The Los Angeles Angels staged their over version of Home Run Derby against Detroit Tigers starter Shane Greene.
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols were among five Angels batters to homer in the first two innings, allowing Jered Weaver to breeze to an 8-6 victory on Saturday night.
"We were due for it," Trout said. "The last couple of games, we've been hitting balls hard, but they just weren't falling in. And tonight we got a couple over the fence."
Weaver (4-4) won his fourth straight decision over five starts, allowing three runs and nine hits in 6-1/3 innings with three strikeouts and no walks.
"The boys came out swinging. I was able to get some runs, and it was nice to pitch with a lead like that because you can be a little bit more aggressive in the zone," Weaver said. "I tried to go out there and pitch to contact as much as possible and they were able to get some hits together, but I was able to maneuver myself out of some situations and tried to limit the damage."
Kole Calhoun, Matt Joyce and rookie Carlos Perez also went deep for the Angels, who had totaled just six home runs in Weaver's 10 previous starts this season. For Joyce, it was his third in four games after hitting just one in his first 40.
"We got the big lead, and I think it obviously gave Weave a little bit of breathing room where he could just pitch and not worry that one mistake would cost him the ballgame," manager Mike Scioscia said. "The bats came alive, and it was a good night for it. We needed it because we haven't been scoring a lot of runs. So it's good to get them early like we did tonight."
Greene (4-4) was charged with seven runs and six hits in only 1-2/3 innings after giving up only three in his first 59 innings this season combined.
It was the first time a Tigers opponent hit five homers in a game since May 26, 2014, when the Athletics won 10-0 at Oakland. The last time the Detroit staff surrendered more than five was Sept. 4 at Boston, when the Red Sox tied a franchise record with eight in a 20-4 rout.
"It was just one of those nights. The ball was traveling well," Tigers reliever Alex Wilson said. "They've got some big guys who can hit some homers, and tonight they ran into a few."
The Tigers closed to 7-5 in the eighth against Fernando Salas with a run-scoring groundout by Tyler Collins and an RBI double by James McCann. But Perez got one of the runs back in the eighth with an RBI double and Huston Street got his 16th save in 18 attempts despite giving up a two-out homer to Ian Kinsler in the ninth.
Trout ignited the Angels' long-ball barrage with his 12th homer and Calhoun added his fifth two batters later. Joyce and Perez opened the second inning with homers to left-center, the first time the Angels have gone back-to-back in their first 50 games.
Efren Navarro followed with a single off Greene's glove, and Trout drew a two-out walk before Pujols drove the next pitch deep into the seats in left field for his 531st career homer and 11th this season. At that point, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus mercifully removed the 26-year-old right-hander after 46 pitches with a 7-1 deficit and replaced him with Wilson.
Wilson retired all 11 batters he faced, while the Tigers cut the margin to 7-3 with Miguel Cabrera's RBI double in the third and Nick Castellanos' sacrifice fly in the fourth. The Angels didn't get another baserunner until Johnny Giavotella singled with two outs in the seventh against Blaine Hardy.
Tigers: C Alex Avila, experiencing left knee problems, is scheduled to resume baseball activities when the team gets home for a three-game series against Oakland before going out on a minor league rehab assignment.
Angels: Pujols, who has homered in three consecutive games for the second time in his career, was limited to designated hitter duty because of a sore groin. ... SS Erick Aybar missed his second straight game because of a hamstring problem, and Navarro was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to play first base. RHP Vinnie Pestano was optioned to the Bees to make room for Navarro on the active roster.