KEY MOMENT: Efren Navarro never had faced Tigers ace Justin Verlander, the 2011 American League Cy Young award winner. If not for an injury to outfielder Josh Hamilton, Navarro would not have started on Saturday. But start he did – and, in his first at-bat off Verlander, Navarro hit his first major league home run.
AT THE PLATE: With Hamilton out, Erick Aybar became the first Angels shortstop to bat cleanup in 32 years. "Everybody knows I'm not a power hitter," Aybar said. "I'll do my best." He had two hits – both singles. C.J. Cron also had two hits, a single and double. Albert Pujols doubled off Verlander; he has six hits in 12 career at-bats against the Tigers' ace.
ON THE MOUND: Matt Shoemaker (8-3), more than making his case to stay in the Angels' rotation when C.J. Wilson soon returns from the disabled list, pitched seven shutout innings, giving up three hits and no walks, with five strikeouts. Shoemaker has pitched 18-2/3 consecutive innings without a walk. Kevin Jepsen and Jason Grilli each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
HAMILTON UPDATE: Hamilton received a cortisone shot to combat inflammation in his left knee. He left Friday's game because of what the Angels called soreness in the knee, and he did not play Saturday, but Manager Mike Scioscia said he expected Hamilton to play Sunday. Scioscia said Hamilton was removed from Friday's game because "he was laboring to move" and said he had played through tightness in his legs for the past two weeks. "Sometimes you just need to take a half-step back and catch your breath," Scioscia said.
ROSTER UPDATE: With the Angels needing an extra outfielder because of Hamilton's unavailability, they recalled J.B. Shuck from triple-A Salt Lake and optioned reliever Fernando Salas to Salt Lake. … Wilson is scheduled to make a minor league rehabilitation start Monday at double-A Arkansas. If all goes well, he could rejoin the Angels' rotation next weekend in Tampa Bay.
WOLF IN SALT LAKE: The Angels signed left-hander and ex-Dodger Randy Wolf, 37, to a minor league contract and assigned him to Salt Lake. Wolf went 1-3 with a 5.26 earned-run average in six games for the Miami Marlins this season. The Angels could promote him to Anaheim when rosters expand in September – or sooner in case of a major league injury – or let him opt out to accept any major league opportunity elsewhere.
UP NEXT: The Angels' Hector Santiago (2-7, 4.02) faces the Tigers' Rick Porcello (12-5, 3.42) on Sunday at 12:35 p.m. at Angel Stadium. TV: FSW. Radio: 830, 1330.
— Bill ShaikinCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times