ANAHEIM, Calif. - The American League Central-leading Detroit Tigers attempt to continue their surge as they continue their four-game series against the host Los Angeles Angels on Friday. Detroit recorded its fourth victory in five contests Thursday, posting a 6-4 triumph in the series opener as All-Star Ian Kinsler and Nick Castellanos each drove in a pair of runs. The Tigers maintained their seven-game lead over Kansas City in the division and moved 7 1/2 ahead of Cleveland.
Kole Calhoun recorded two hits and two RBIs for the Angels, who have dropped four of their last six contests. Los Angeles lost to Detroit for just the third time in their last 13 meetings and fell to 40-16 at home against the Tigers since 2001. The Angels lost ground to Oakland in the AL West, falling three games behind the first-place Athletics.
TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, FSN (Detroit), FSN West (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers LH Drew Smyly (6-8, 3.80 ERA) vs. Angels LH Tyler Skaggs (5-5, 4.65)
Smyly is coming off a strong performance against Cleveland on Sunday in which he allowed one run and four hits over seven innings. It ended a rough three-start stretch for the 25-year-old, who went 1-2 while yielding at least four runs in each outing. Smyly lost his only career decision against Los Angeles on April 18, when he surrendered four runs and six hits over three frames.
Skaggs escaped with a no-decision against Seattle on Sunday after allowing five runs and eight hits over 6 2/3 innings. The 23-year-old managed to snap his four-game losing streak in his previous start despite being even worse as he was tagged for six runs and seven hits in five frames of a 10-7 triumph at Texas. Skaggs, who never has faced Detroit, is 1-2 with a 5.69 ERA in eight home starts this season - his first in the American League after spending his first two major-league campaigns with Arizona.
1. Detroit OF Austin Jackson has registered seven consecutive two-hit performances and recorded multiple hits in 10 of his last 11 contests.
2. Los Angeles LHP C.J. Wilson (sprained right ankle) is slated to throw a bullpen session on Friday or Saturday and could make a rehab start after that.
3. The Tigers are a major league-best 31-17 on the road this season.
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