Detroit, MI – Ervin Santana has struggled to prevent home runs all season. On Sunday, it cost the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a 5-2 loss against the Detroit Tigers.
Prince Fielder and Delmon Young slammed back-to-back home runs to break a sixth-inning tie and lift the Tigers to their fifth win in their last six games.
Max Scherzer (14-6) was the beneficiary, picking up his fourth straight win in the rubber match of the three-game series. Scherzer gave up one run on four hits and a pair of walks with nine strikeouts in seven innings.
"I was locating the whole day," Scherzer said. "I only made a couple mistakes. I did a good job of executing pitches throughout the whole night."
"(Scherzer) executed," Angels catcher Chris Iannetta said. "He mixed up three pitches. Throwing the ball 97, there's a reason why he leads the league in strikeouts."
Over his last four starts, Scherzer has pitched to a 1.33 earned run average.
The Angels' five-game win streak in Santana (7-11) starts came to an end after the right-hander allowed four runs on only five hits in seven innings. With the two home run balls, Santana moved into sole possession of second place in the majors with 31 home runs allowed.
"It was a good outing," Santana said. "Just a couple of bad pitches."
Mike Trout scored the Angels' only run in the first inning and became the second rookie in franchise history to cross home 100 times.
Andy Dirks worked a leadoff walk to start the sixth inning. Fielder broke the 1-1 tie, jumping on an 0-1 fastball and driving it into the right-field seats. Young followed by driving the next pitch all the way to the left-field seats, opening up a three-run lead.
The Tigers tacked on another run in the eighth inning when Quintin Berry scored Dirks with a sacrifice fly.
Joaquin Benoit tossed a perfect eighth and Jose Valverde, despite giving up an RBI single to Kendrys Morales, closed out the win.
Mike Trout legged out an infield single to start the first inning. He advanced to third when Maicer Izturis lined a single to left and scored on Torii Hunter's double play.
Detroit tied the game in the third inning. Omar Infante walked with two outs and scored when Dirks crushed a triple to right-center field.
After Howard Kendrick led off the second with a base hit, Scherzer held the Angels hitless and only allowed two walks, coming in the second and seventh inning.
The only other Angels rookie to score 100 runs was Devon White, who scored 103 in 159 games in 1987 ... Santana had won his previous four games against the Tigers ... Detroit has won 33 of its last 52 games and 22 of 28 at home ... Tigers pitchers have a 2.23 ERA (25 earned runs in 101 innings) over their last 11 games ... Scherzer passed teammate Justin Verlander for the major league lead with 195 strikeouts ... Scherzer has struck out at least eight batters in eight straight starts.