Tigers homer on 2 straight pitches, top Angels 5-2

The Los Angeles Angels had a shot to win two straight series for the first time in a month.

Without Albert Pujols, it just didn't work out.

Ervin Santana yielded consecutive homers by Prince Fielder and Delmon Young in the sixth inning, and the Angels went on to a 5-2 loss to Max Scherzer and Detroit Tigers on Sunday.

Los Angeles swept Boston before arriving in Detroit and closed a 4-2 road trip after starting the month 5-12.

"We created a lot of momentum with the start of this trip, but we have to keep that going forward," manager Mike Scioscia said. "There's a big hole in our lineup without Albert, and the Tigers did a great job of keeping Mike (Trout) and Mark (Trumbo) in check. Well, they did a pretty good job of keeping everyone in check."

Pujols missed his fourth straight game with an injured right calf and the Angels are targeting Tuesday for his return at home against Boston.

"I'm feeling better," he said. "But they want to give me another day off — whatever they want to do."

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.

Santana (7-11) allowed four runs and five hits over seven innings.

"I have to keep pitching like this," he said. "My confidence is up, and I'm keeping my team in games. That's the job."

Santana, who lost for the first time since July 21, struck out five and walked three.

The free passes hurt him more than the hits that went over the fence, according to Scioscia

"He challenges guys with every pitch, and there are going to be times he gives up homers," Scioscia said. "That's how he's pitched his whole career, and he's shown that he's better when he operates that way. I thought the walks were what hurt him. (Omar) Infante and (Andy) Dirks both walked, and they both scored."

The Tigers and Angels may be vying for an AL wild card with 30-plus games left in the regular season, and Detroit also rested one of its 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.

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.

Vernon Wells kept the Angels in front by leaping to catch Omar Infante's fly over the left-field wall in the first, but there was no defense for the consecutive drives by Fielder and Young.

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.

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 Trumbo to pop out, struck out Howie Kendrick and retired Erick Aybar on a popup to end the game.

NOTES: Trout joined Devon White as the two rookies in franchise history to score 100 runs. White had 103 in 1987. ... Kendrick extended his hitting streak to a season-high 13 games.