Tigers 5, Angels 2
KEY MOMENT: With runners on second and third and two outs in the top of the fourth inning, right-hander Max Scherzer struck out Erick Aybar swinging to end the inning and preserve a 3-1 lead. A hit by the Angels shortstop in that situation would have tied and changed the complexion of the game.
AT THE PLATE: The Angels managed only four hits, but two were home runs, a shot to right field by J.B. Shuck to lead off the game and a ninth-inning shot to left field that gave Albert Pujols 498. The Angels lead the major leagues with 29 home runs. Mike Trout endured the first four-strikeout game of his career, three against Scherzer. Only one other pitcher, Oakland's Tommy Milone on Sept. 23, has struck out Trout three times in a game.
ON THE MOUND: Scherzer, the 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner, mixed a lively two-seam sinking fastball with a nice breaking ball and changeup to hold the Angels to one run and three hits in seven innings, striking out nine and walking two. "He was nasty," Trout said. "Sometimes you have to tip your cap." Angels starter C.J. Wilson battled mechanical problems and gave up four runs — three earned — and seven hits, including Nick Castellanos' two-run home run in the second and Victor Martinez's solo shot in the fifth, in five innings. Wilson struck out four, walked three and threw 111 pitches.
INJURY REPORT: Scioscia said Pujols, who was hobbled by plantar fasciitis in his left heel last season, has been playing with a bone bruise in the same heel, an injury he suffered while stepping on a base in the first week of the season. "It's nothing significant," Scioscia said. "I don't think it's an issue." It doesn't appear to be. The first baseman leads the Angels with six home runs and 14 runs batted in. … Third baseman David Freese expects to return Sunday after sitting out two games because of right quadriceps tightness.
UP NEXT: Left-hander Hector Santiago (0-2, 4.96 ERA) will oppose Detroit right-hander Rick Porcello (1-1, 4.15 ERA) at Comerica Park Sunday at 10 a.m. PDT. Porcello has a 3-4 career record and 8.34 ERA against the Angels. On the air: TV: FS West. Radio: 830.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times