DETROIT – Prince Fielder and Delmon Young homered on consecutive pitches in the sixth inning to support Max Scherzer and help the Detroit Tigers beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 on Sunday.
Scherzer (14-6) gave up one run and struck out nine over seven innings. Joaquin Benoit struck out two more in a perfect eighth, and Jose Valverde struck out another batter while closing it out.
Angels right-hander Ervin Santana (7-11) allowed four runs and five hits over seven innings.
Detroit and Los Angeles, each vying for an AL wild card with 30-plus games left in the regular season, both rested one of their stars heading into an off day on Monday.
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera was out of the lineup for the first time this year, nursing his sore right ankle with the expectation he will be able to play third base Tuesday at Kansas City. Albert Pujols missed his fourth straight game with an injured right calf and the Angels also are targeting Tuesday for his return at home against Boston.
Mike Trout snapped an 0-for-9 skid with a leadoff single in the first inning and scored his 100th run of the year. The rookie struck out in each of his next three at-bats.
Angels left fielder Vernon Wells kept the game scoreless in the first by leaping to catch Omar Infante's fly over the left-field wall, but there was no defense for Fielder and Young's back-to-back homers.
Fielder belted a soaring two-run shot to right field for his 23rd homer this year. Young sent the next pitch into the left-field seats for his 14th homer to put Detroit ahead 4-1.
Scherzer received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 40,074 after he completed the seventh and got a hug from manager Jim Leyland. The hard-throwing right-hander allowed four hits and walked one.
Scherzer improved to 4-0 with a 1.33 ERA in his last four starts. He also has 35 strikeouts in 27 innings over that stretch.
Santana, who lost for the first time since July 21, struck out five and walked three.
Valverde entered in a non-save situation after Quintin Berry's sacrifice fly off Scott Downs in the eighth gave Detroit a four-run lead, and promptly got into a bit of trouble. He started off by hitting Torii Hunter and Kendrys Morales hit an RBI single to get Los Angeles within three.
Valverde then got Mark Trumbo to pop out, struck out Howie Kendrick and retired Erick Aybar on a popup to end the game.
The Tigers took two of three in the series. They have won five of their last six games at home and 22 of 28 at Comerica Park since July 4.
Los Angeles closed its road trip 4-2 after starting the month 5-12.
NOTES: Scherzer leads the majors with 195 strikeouts and Justin Verlander, whose next start is scheduled for Tuesday against the Royals, ranks second with 192. The last teammates to finish a year 1-2 in strikeouts were Kerry Wood (266) and Mark Prior (245) of the Chicago Cubs in 2003, according to STATS, LLC. ... Trout joined Devon White as the two rookies in franchise history to score 100 runs. White had 103 in 1987.