Giavotella's 2-run single in 8th helps Angels sweep Tigers
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Baseball is a game of redemption, and Johnny Giavotella enjoyed proving that theory.
The Los Angeles Angels' second baseman hit a tiebreaking, two-run single with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, making up for an earlier error that helped the Detroit Tigers score the tying run, and the Los Angeles Angels completed a four-game sweep with a 4-2 victory Sunday.
''Any player loves to be out there when the game is on the line,'' Giavotella said. ''My team does a great job of putting me in those situations. They have a lot of faith and confidence in me. It was a great feeling, coming through like that for the team and completing the sweep.''
David Price (4-2) issued a leadoff walk to David Freese and gave up an infield single to Chris Iannetta, who was safe at first when third baseman Andrew Romine fielded his high chopper and pulled Miguel Cabrera off the bag with a hurried throw.
Kole Calhoun advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt, and Price intentionally walked Grant Green before retiring pinch-hitter Carlos Perez on a popup with his 121st and final pitch. Giavotella grounded Joba Chamberlain's second pitch up the middle.
''I just relaxed and tried to get a good pitch to drive up the middle,'' Giavotella said. ''I was looking fastball and got a slider over the middle of the plate.''
Joe Smith (2-2) got the victory with a perfect inning of relief, and Huston Street pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 17th save in 19 attempts, closing out the Angels' first four-game sweep of the Tigers since April 1996 at the ''Big A.''
''It's frustrating. We're not playing the way we're capable of playing right now,'' Price said. ''Every team goes through it, and every team is going to feel this throughout 162 games. So you've just got to grind through it. We know we're a better team. Everybody knows that.''
Price was charged with four runs, eight hits and four walks in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out six, after scattering five hits over seven innings in a 1-0 win at Oakland on Tuesday. Detroit had won 11 of the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner's previous 12 starts, including his final two last season.
Los Angeles didn't get a hit until Freese and Iannetta singled with two outs in the fourth. They were stranded when Price retired Calhoun on a foul pop, but the Angels grabbed a 2-1 lead in the fifth with one-out RBI singles by Erick Aybar and AL MVP Mike Trout.
The Tigers tied it in the sixth with an unearned run against Matt Shoemaker. Cabrera singled with one out, advanced on a passed ball by Iannetta and scored when Giavotella fielded a hard-hit grounder by Yoenis Cespedes to the right of second base and threw the ball just beyond the reach of Green at first for his fifth error of the season.
''I take pride in my defense and I work very hard on it with my preparation before the game, so I wasn't happy about making that error,'' Giavotella said. ''I just kind of pulled the ball to my glove side. I didn't really step into my throw and make a hard, accurate one. Green did everything he could to stay on the base and make a play for me, but we just couldn't make it happen.''
Green started at first base for the second time in the big leagues in place of slugger Albert Pujols, who was the designated hitter for the second straight day because of tightness in his groin. Pujols went 0 for 4, ending his three-game home run streak.
Angels righty Cam Bedrosian, whose father Steve gave up seven grand slams during his major league career, retired Cespedes with the bags full to end the seventh.
''He's been great for us since he's come back from the minors,'' Giavotella said. ''For Cam to succeed a situation like that was huge for us, and it just shows what kind of heart he has.''
It was the third time in this series that Detroit left the bases loaded. Cespedes had one RBI in the series - on a solo home run against Jered Weaver.
Shoemaker was charged with two runs, four hits and a season-high four walks in 5 1-3 innings. The Michigan native's only other start against the Tigers was on July 26, 2014, when he pitched seven innings of three-hit ball in a 4-0 win.
Tigers rookie James McCann opened the scoring in the second with a sacrifice fly.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander, sidelined because of a triceps strain that occurred in a spring training start March 27, made his first rehab start for Triple-A Toledo at Indianapolis and allowed three runs and six hits over 2 2-3 innings. The 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner threw 50 of his 79 pitches for strikes, fanning three and walking two.
Tigers: RHP Alfredo Simon (5-2) matches up against Oakland's Kendall Graveman on Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series at Comerica Park. Simon is 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA in his last five starts after going 4-0 with 1.65 ERA in his first four.
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards (4-3) opposes Tampa Bay's Alex Colome on Monday night when the teams begin a three-game set in Anaheim.