Angels’ Scott Kazmir looks strong in 10-1 victory over Tigers
Reporting from Detroit — Scott Kazmir was barely audible following his last outing before Friday, so embarrassed was he by giving up a franchise-worst 13 runs.
Nearly a month later, the Angels pitcher didn’t need to utter one word to convey what his pitching said for him.
In his first start since spending nearly a month on the disabled list because of shoulder fatigue, Kazmir pitched five superb innings at Comerica Park during the Angels’ 10-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
The left-hander gave up only three hits and one unearned run while receiving plenty of support from an offense that didn’t seem to miss Torii Hunter, who began serving a four-game suspension for an on-field tantrum the previous night.
Alberto Callaspo had three hits, Mike Napoli drove in three runs and Erick Aybar homered to lead a 13-hit attack against Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman (6-7) and three relievers.
But the biggest swing came from Kazmir (8-9), who had gone 0-4 with a 13.73 earned-run average in his previous four starts. Kazmir faced only three batters over the minimum and his lively fastball still touched 93 mph in his final inning.
His only mistake might have been a wild throw to first base after racing behind the mound to pick up Austin Jackson’s first-inning grounder, which had deflected off Kazmir’s glove. Jackson took second base on the error and eventually scored on Ryan Raburn’s groundout.
The run hardly mattered on a day that every Angels starting position player except Hideki Matsui and Peter Bourjos collected at least one hit as the Angels clinched their first series victory since winning two of three games from the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in mid-June.
Relievers Francisco Rodriguez, Michael Kohn and Kevin Jepsen held the Tigers scoreless over the final four innings.
There was also a Brandon Wood sighting. The third baseman, who had not appeared in a game since July 20 and had not had an at-bat since July 17, pinch hit in the eighth inning and reached first base on a fielder’s choice.