DETROIT – Angels shortstop Erick Aybar fielded Austin Jackson's grounder in the first inning and promptly threw it away for an error.
That set the tone for a night of shoddy defense and mediocre pitching.
"We just played a poor baseball game," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "We gave a deep team too many extra outs and two unearned runs, we didn't hold leads and we didn't take advantage of a couple opportunities."
Brennan Boesch hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning and the Detroit Tigers rallied for an 8-6 victory over the Angels on Monday night.
Los Angeles led 5-2 after a four-run fifth, but the Tigers chipped away, scoring two runs in the bottom of that inning and three more in the seventh. Delmon Young tied it with a sacrifice fly and Boesch followed with a homer off reliever LaTroy Hawkins (2-2) to make it 7-5.
Octavio Dotel (3-2) got the win in relief. Joaquin Benoit worked the eighth and Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 21 chances.
The Angels got Albert Pujols to the plate as the tying run against Valverde in the ninth, but he flied out to center to end it.
Torii Hunter had four hits and drove in three runs for Los Angeles, and Mark Trumbo hit his 25th homer of the season.
Quintin Berry had three hits for the Tigers.
"I want to try to be more than just a speed guy," said Berry, Detroit's rookie outfielder. "I want to be a good player. Things are just going my way. They could be going the other way but balls are finding holes. That's all I can ask for right now."
Ervin Santana allowed four runs — two earned — in six innings, but the Angels couldn't hold on. Berry led off the Detroit seventh with a single off reliever Hisanori Takahashi. Hawkins then came on and, after Berry stole second, got Miguel Cabrera to ground out.
Los Angeles then walked Prince Fielder intentionally, but Berry stole third and was able to score on Young's flyball. Boesch's ninth homer of the year put the Tigers ahead.
Trumbo led off the eighth with a homer, but Berry's RBI single in the bottom half made it 8-6.
Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the first when Jackson reached on Aybar's error and eventually scored on Cabrera's groundout.
In the second, Trumbo hit a deep flyball that Jackson caught at the wall in left-center in perhaps the deepest part of spacious Comerica Park.
Hunter ended the bottom half with a terrific catch at the wall in right, robbing Berry of a potential extra-base hit and then throwing back to first to double off Jackson.
Hunter then tied it with an RBI double in the third.
The Tigers scored another unearned run in the fourth. With men on first and second, Boesch hit a comebacker and Hawkins threw wildly to second for an error, allowing Fielder to come around and score.
That lead was short-lived. Mike Trout tied it with an RBI single in the fifth, Hunter followed with a two-run double and Pujols made it 5-2 with a double of his own that brought home another run.
Santana allowed eight hits, rebounding from an awful July 4 outing in which he allowed eight runs and didn't make it out of the second inning at Cleveland.
"I felt great both physically and mentally," Santana said. "Now I have to take that to the next level. No adjustments. Just keep pitching. That's the way you fix things."
NOTES: Detroit OF Andy Dirks (right Achilles tendinitis) was in the clubhouse before the game and was upbeat about his progress. "I went down to Florida for a week, worked down there and it's showing signs of good improvement. I'm moving around pretty good. I can run on it pretty good, hitting's fine," he said. "This is the best it's felt in a long time, right now." ... Jackson has scored a run in 13 straight games. ... The Tigers optioned RHP Luis Marte to Triple-A Toledo and will recall RHP Jacob Turner (0-0) on Tuesday to start against the Angels that night. Los Angeles has not officially named a starting pitcher.