Wilson, Trout lead Angels over Tigers 6-1
Angels starting pitcher C.J. Wilson throws to the Detroit Tigers during the fourth inning Saturday in Anaheim, Calif.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — C.J. Wilson won his third straight start, Mike Trout hit a leadoff homer in the first inning and the Los Angeles Angels roughed up Justin Verlander en route to a 6-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.
Trout ended the game by robbing Prince Fielder of a home run to center field on a 3-2 pitch from Garrett Richards.
Wilson (12-9) allowed an unearned run and four hits in 7 2-3 innings, struck out six and walked two. It was the first time the All-Star left-hander pitched at least seven innings in 11 starts since July 13. His first three-game winning streak since last September began after a stretch of 11 consecutive outings in which he was 0-5.
The Angels have won 10 of 11 since losing consecutive games at Detroit.
Verlander (13-8) gave up six runs and nine hits and struck out two in six innings.
The reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner is 0-3 in his last five road starts, including a 9-8 loss against Kansas City in which he matched a career worst by allowing eight earned runs over 5 2-3 innings.
Umpire Jeff Kellogg was forced out of the game in the bottom of the second inning after taking a foul tip by Torii Hunter flush off the face mask, and first base ump Tim Timmons took over behind the plate.
Timmons got some heat from Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera after a called strike in the fourth, and Cabrera grounded into a double play on the next pitch before Fielder struck out swinging. Moments later, Timmons ejected Cabrera for saying something from the dugout — then tossed third base coach Gene Lamont after he and manager Jim Leyland complained to Timmons about Cabrera's ejection.
Cabrera was 0 for 2, dropping his average to .328 — one point behind Trout for the AL lead.
Verlander made 29 of his 97 pitches in the first inning as the Angels tagged him for four runs. Trout started it with a drive into the top tier of the double-decker bullpen in left field. Howie Kendrick added a two-run double and Vernon Wells capped the rally with an RBI double.
Trout's 26th homer tied the Angels' season record for leadoff batters, which was set by Brian Downing in 1982 and equaled by Tony Phillips in 1995. It was the eighth time that Verlander has given up a homer to the first batter he faced and the fourth time this season.
Verlander's previous start against the Angels was in Detroit on July 31, 2001, when Maicer Izturis broke up his bid for a third no-hitter with a two-out single in the eighth inning.
Angels ace Jered Weaver was scratched from Friday night's series opener because of biceps tendinitis, which was revealed in an MRI he had after getting hit with a line drive last Sunday.
Hunter recorded his 11th outfield assist in the first inning when he caught Cabrera's hit-and-run flyball on the warning track in right and doubled up Omar Infante at first base.
NOTES: Infante drove in the Tigers' only run against Wilson in the fourth with an RBI single, his 1,000th career hit. His first was on Sept. 7, 2002, a go-ahead RBI single against Mike Mussina in the eighth inning of a 2-1 Tigers win at Yankee Stadium. ... The Angels (76-63) are a season-high 13 games over .500 with 23 games left. The fewest wins they ever made it to the postseason with were the 92 they had in 2004, when they won the first of five AL West titles after Mike Scioscia became manager in 2000. They won the World Series in 2002 as a wild card after winning 99 games. ... Izturis left the game in the fourth inning for a pinch-hitter because of tightness in his rib cage. He has no RBIs in 21 at-bats against the Tigers this season. ... Cabrera has 36 homers and 116 RBIs with 24 games left on the schedule. He averaged 31.9 homers and 115.2 RBIs over the previous eight seasons. ... Angels slugger Mark Trumbo, who got the night off, has 17 hits in 91 at-bats over his last 23 games (. 187) with one homer, 10 RBIs, 39 strikeouts and five walks. He is hitless in his last 15 at-bats.
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