The Detroit Tigers broke out of an offensive funk with a 7-5 win against Cleveland Thursday, ending a stretch in which they scored just nine runs over their previous four games. Ian Kinsler homered and drove in four as Detroit won for only the third time in eight tries.
They'd like nothing more than to end their struggles in another area – beating the Los Angeles Angels. The Tigers scored the second-most runs in the majors in 2013, but the Angels held them to just 17 runs in six games in 2013. The Angels have won nine straight meetings against the Tigers.
Los Angeles looks to start a nine-game road trip off on the right foot after Chris Iannetta hit his fourth career walk-off home run in the 12th inning Wednesday as the Angels avoided a three-game home sweep by the Oakland Athletics. The Angels currently lead the majors with 24 homers and rank second with 83 runs scored.
TV: 7:08 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles) FSN Detroit
PITCHING MATCHUP: Angels RH Jered Weaver (0-2, 5.79 ERA) vs. Tigers LH Drew Smyly (1-0, 0.00)
Weaver avoided taking a loss for the first time in three turns on Saturday, but Los Angeles fell to 0-3 in his starts after he surrendered four runs on three hits and four walks over 6 2/3 innings against the New York Mets. After yielding four home runs on the road in his previous turn, the three-time All-Star surrendered another at home against the Mets and is winless after three starts for the first time in his career. Weaver has also struggled in 10 career outings against the Tigers, going 3-4 with a 4.97 ERA.
After winning the rotation spot in spring training, Smyly will finally make his long-awaited first start of the season tonight. The Tigers haven’t needed him due to two postponements and three scheduled off-days. The 24-year-old has been sharp in his two middle-relief appearances, however, tossing a pair of scoreless three-inning outings while allowing two hits and striking out six. Smyly has a 2.77 ERA in three career appearances (one start) versus the Angels, but has yet to factor into the decision against them.
1. Los Angeles has led at some point in five of its eight defeats. They've lost in its opponent’s final at-bat four times.
2. Detroit 1B Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 on Thursday to record only his second multi-hit game of the season, but he is only 6-for-32 over his last eight games.
3. The Angels placed OF Kole Calhoun on the disabled list and recalled OF Brennan Boesch from Triple-A Salt Lake City on Wednesday; Boesch played 380 games for the Tigers from 2010-12.