Albert Pujols had his 530th career homer among three hits, and Hector Santiago pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning of the Los Angeles Angels’ 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
Huston Street got four outs for his 15th save, striking out Yoenis Cespedes with the bases loaded to end the eighth as the Angels nudged their record back above .500 (25-24).
Santiago (4-3) was finally rewarded for an impressive May, getting just his second victory in his last seven starts.
Anibal Sanchez (3-6) yielded six hits in seven strong innings for the Tigers, who were shut out for the second time in five days.
Detroit has scored just six runs in its last five games while losing five of seven overall.
Santiago has been hurt by some of the majors’ worst run support, but he didn’t need much against Detroit while striking out seven. The left-hander has yielded just five earned runs in his last 33 1-3 innings.
Santiago left with one out in the eighth after Jose Iglesias’ bloop single on his 111th pitch. Rookie Cam Bedrosian left one out later with the bases loaded, but Street made his first eighth-inning appearance of the season and fanned Cespedes on four pitches.
Pujols is surging after a slow start. The three-time NL MVP is 8 for 18 midway through a 10-game homestand, and he scored both of the Angels’ runs in their second of four games against Detroit, which has lost four straight at the Big A.
The Angels loaded the bases in the fourth after Mike Trout was caught stealing, and Pujols scored when Ian Kinsler misplayed Matt Joyce’s grounder, which could have been turned into an easy inning-ending double play.
One pitch after he thought he had drawn a walk in the sixth, Pujols homered for the second straight game against Detroit, lifting a full-count pitch into the bullpens beyond the left-field fence for his 10th homer. He sits four homers behind Jimmie Foxx for 17th place on baseball’s career list.
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera was back in the lineup after C.J. Wilson hit him in his surgically repaired right foot Thursday. … Victor Martinez is working out in Florida while on the DL, and he plans to rejoin the Tigers when they return to Michigan next week. There’s still no timetable for his return from a left knee injury.
Angels: Erick Aybar sat out with a strained hamstring. The shortstop was injured Thursday, and the Angels are hoping he won’t be out long.