Angels' Dan Haren holds back Tigers, 5-1
Dan Haren held the Detroit Tigers to a run and six hits Saturday while pitching his third complete game, ending a winless streak at three starts in the Angels' 5-1 victory in front of a soldout Comerica Park.
Haren (11-6) didn't give up a hit until the fourth inning and worked ahead in the count all game, throwing first-pitch strikes to 24 of the 32 batters he faced. He was also helped by two stellar plays.
The first came when leadoff hitter Andy Dirks sliced a line drive to deep left-center field only to have center fielder Peter Bourjos race into the gap to make a diving backhanded catch. The second play, which came with Detroit threatening in the seventh inning, was a bit more unusual.
After consecutive singles put runners at first base and third base with no outs, Victor Martinez hit a high hopper to first baseman Mark Trumbo, who threw to second base for a force out. But rather than throw back to first base to complete the routine double play, shortstop Erick Aybar refused to concede the run, spinning and throwing home. With catcher Jeff Mathis blocking the plate, Magglio Ordonez had to slide around him and missed the plate, allowing Mathis to tag him out.
It was the only the second time this season a team has turned a 3-6-2 double play and the other instance, in June in Colorado, also involved the Tigers.
Aybar helped at the plate as well, collecting three hits, stealing two bases and scoring twice. Bobby Abreu also two hits and Bourjos walked and was hit by pitches twice, scored a run and drove in one. Every Angel contributed a hit, run or run batted in.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the fourth inning on singles by Dirks and Ordonez. The Angels answered in their next at-bat when Bourjos was hit by a pitch, stole second -- one of a season-high six steals in the game for the Angels -- and scored on Torii Hunter's two-out single.
The Angels went ahead to stay an inning later when Bourjos was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Mathis followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1.
The Angels scored two runs in the eighth inning on doubles by Trumbo and Maicer Izturis.
-- Kevin Baxter, reporting from Detroit
Photo: Angels starter Dan Haren works against the Tigers in the first inning Saturday afternoon in Detroit. Credit: Rick Osentoski / US Presswire