Cron and Calhoun homer to lead Angels past Tigers
DETROIT (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels didn’t make things easy for themselves on Tuesday night.
The Angels led the Detroit Tigers 4-0 in the fifth inning, but closer Bud Norris had to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam to finish off a 5-3 victory.
“That’s a nice win against a hot team,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We had some trouble closing out some innings, including the ninth, but we got it done.”
Norris retired Justin Upton and Nicholas Castellanos to start the ninth, but Alex Presley and Jose Iglesias kept the game alive with singles. Norris walked Ian Kinsler to put the winning run on base, then fell behind 3-0 to Alex Avila.
Avila, though, fouled off the next two pitches before taking a pitch at the edge of the strike zone to end the game.
“That was a great job by Bud,” Scioscia said. “He didn’t get a couple calls, but he got back into the at-bat with some great pitches. He knew he was playing with fire if the next guy (Miguel Cabrera) got to the plate.”
Avila thought he had drawn a bases-loaded walk, but home-plate umpire Andy Fletcher didn’t agree.
“I told him it was a ball,” Avila said. “He told me it was a strike.”
Kole Calhoun and C.J. Cron homered for the Angels.
Jesse Chavez (5-6) picked up the win, allowing two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.
“At the end of the day, I like the win, but I have to get better at pitching out of the stretch so I can get through six innings,” he said.
Daniel Norris (3-3) took the loss, allowing four runs — three earned — five hits and three walks in six innings. He struck out seven, but allowed two homers.
“I know homers are going to happen, but it seems like every game I have a string of batters where I feel like I’m losing it,” he said. “I have to get into a better rhythm.”
The loss ended Detroit’s four-game winning streak.
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the first on Calhoun’s ninth homer of the season, but Norris escaped walking three batters in the third. He picked off Eric Young, Jr. at second base, then got Albert Pujols to ground out with two runners on.
Yunel Escobar led off the fourth with a double over Presley’s head in center field, and Cron made it 3-0 with a long homer to left. Presley made another defensive mistake in the fifth, misplaying Calhoun’s single, and Andrelton Simmons scored from first.
Avila’s ninth homer pulled the Tigers within 4-1 in the sixth, and Upton added an RBI single later in the inning. Blake Parker replaced Chavez with two outs, and he retired Castellanos to end the inning with runners on the corners.
“That was our biggest moment of the game,” Scioscia said. “Blake has been great all year, and he stepped up to get Chavez out of that inning.”
Calhoun added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
J.D. Martinez made it 5-3 with a sacrifice fly in the eighth, but Cabrera was thrown out to end the inning trying to advance to second on a wild pitch.
Angels: The Angels have nine players on the DL, including CF Mike Trout (thumb), OF Cameron Maybin (oblique strain) and seven pitchers. Six of the pitchers are on the 60-day DL, with only Cam Bedrosian (groin) on the 10-day list. Bedrosian is expected to be activated Thursday after a final rehab outing with High-A Inland Empire.
Tigers: Detroit originally planned to activate 2B Ian Kinsler and C James McCann (hand laceration) off the 10-day DL on Tuesday. Kinsler went 1 for 4, but the Tigers decided to send McCann on a short rehab assignment to Triple-A Toledo. ... RHP Justin Verlander is expected to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday or Thursday to test the groin soreness that knocked him out of Sunday’s start.
Calhoun is hitting .478 (11 for 23) with four homers in a seven-game hitting streak.
“Kole had a really tough May, but in his last 20 at-bats, he’s looked like the player we expected,” Scioscia said.
Angels: Los Angeles will start RHP Alex Meyer (2-2, 4.91) in the second game of the series on Wednesday. Meyer beat Detroit on May 14, allowing one earned run and three hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Tigers: LHP Buck Farmer (1-0, 0.00) was recalled from Triple-A Toledo after the game and will start against the Angels on Wednesday. Farmer is replacing Matt Boyd in the rotation. LHP Blaine Hardy was optioned to Toledo to make room for Farmer on the roster.