Detroit, MI – Howie Kendrick's two-run double in the sixth gave Zack Greinke all the run support he needed, as the Angels began their three-game series in Detroit with a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
Greinke (2-2), who had pitched to a 6.19 ERA in his first five starts as an Angel, served up a home run to Miguel Cabrera in the eighth but was otherwise stellar. He gave up just five hits and two walks in 7 2/3 innings.
"Since coming over to us, he's hit a couple of bumps in the road, but this is certainly the way he's (capable of) pitching," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Scott Downs recorded two outs in relief and Garrett Richards struck out the last two in the ninth to notch his first career save.
"You have to tip you hat to them. We couldn't muster much offense," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
The Angels have won four in a row for the first time since late June.
Rick Porcello (9-9) was handed a third straight loss after allowing two runs on seven hits and one walk over six frames.
Both teams were held scoreless for the first five frames one day after completing three-game sweeps with an extra-winning win.
The Angels got both of their runs on one swing of the bat in the sixth when Kendrick, with two outs and on an 0-2 pitch, lined a double into the left- field gap to plate Maicer Izturis and Torii Hunter.
Greinke, meanwhile, cruised through the first five frames and stranded a runner in scoring position in each of the next two. In the sixth, he caught Prince Fielder looking at strike three to leave Cabrera on second, then fanned pinch-hitter Andy Dirks to strand a pair in the seventh.
Cabrera finally got the Tigers on the board when he took Greinke's 115th and final pitch over the left-field wall for his 32nd homer, but the Angels' bullpen closed out the win.
The Angels, without first baseman Albert Pujols (calf) for the second straight game, recorded nine hits, three coming from Izturis ... Cabrera served as Detroit's designated hitter one day after missing a game due to an ankle injury. He went 2-for-4 ... Brayan Villarreal struck out four in two scoreless innings of relief for the Tigers, who went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and stranded six.