DETROIT—The Angels won a game and gained an ace on Thursday, beating the Detroit Tigers, 3-1, in 10 innings in Comerica Park and savoring a strong start by Jered Weaver, who allowed one run and seven hits, struck out six and walked two in seven innings.
Albert Pujols followed with a drive to deep center field that Austin Jackson nearly caught with a spectacular, Willie Mays-like over-the-shoulder move. But the ball glanced off his glove, hit the wall and fell to the ground for a run-scoring double and a 2-1 Angels lead.
Ernesto Frieri pitched a scoreless 10th for his 19th save to complete the first sweep in Comerica Park since 2002 for the Angels, who went 6-0 against the Tigers this season and extended their win streak over Detroit to nine games dating back to 2012.
Weaver, who missed seven weeks of April and May because of a left elbow fracture, went 0-3 with a 6.62 earned run average in his previous three starts, his fastball not as crisp and the command of his off-speed pitches not as sharp.
But Thursday, he looked a lot more like the right-hander who went 20-5 with a 2.81 ERA and finished third in American League Cy Young Award voting in 2012, pitching into the seventh inning for the first time this season.
Weaver’s fastball sat in the 86-mph range and touched 88 mph, and he kept the Tigers off-balance with his well-placed slow curves and changeups. Of Weaver’s 102 pitches, 64 were strikes.
After issuing a leadoff walk to Victor Martinez in the fourth, Weaver retired the next 11 batters with help from Shuck, who made a nice diving catch of Miguel Cabrera’s drive toward the left-field line in the sixth.
Scott Downs replaced Weaver to start the eighth and allowed a one-out double to Omar Infante and hit Jackson with a pitch. But right-hander Michael Kohn came on to strike out Torii Hunter with a 95-mph fastball and Cabrera, the Triple Crown threat, with a 94-mph fastball to preserve a 1-1 tie.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the second when Martinez and Jhonny Peralta each singled with one out and Brayan Pena stroked a two-out, run-scoring single to right field. But Weaver struck out Ramon Santiago looking with an 88-mph fastball on the inside corner.
The Angels tied it in the fourth when Hamilton, Alberto Callaspo and Brad Hawpe opened the inning with singles, Hamilton scoring on Hawpe’s hit to right, but they squandered a chance for a bigger inning when Callaspo was thrown out by Hunter, the right fielder, trying to advance to third on Hawpe’s hit.