DETROIT (AP) — What began as a routine walk quickly turned into a slapstick farce for the Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels made three errors on one play in the first inning and went on to lose 2-1 to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. Los Angeles made another error in the sixth, helping Detroit score its second run, but the real lowlight took place much earlier.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen three errors on one play, much less been in the middle of it,” Angels pitcher Hector Santiago said. “I’m sure it was great for the fans, but it wasn’t too much fun for us.”
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Howie Kendrick, then let the Tigers tie it in crazy fashion in the bottom of the inning.
Ian Kinsler was on first and began running on a 3-2 pitch to Miguel Cabrera. It was ball four, but catcher Hank Conger followed through and threw to second, and the ball sailed into center field. Kinsler went to third, and when center fielder Mike Trout’s throw back to the infield went past the second baseman and shortstop, the Detroit runner tried to score.
It looked as if the Angels would have a play on Kinsler, but Santiago picked up the ball near the mound and threw wildly to the plate. Kinsler scored and Cabrera went to second.
“I’m not sure I would have wanted him to go home,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “But it worked out for us today, and I’ve said this on a number of occasions when baserunning mistakes have cost us a baserunner: I’d rather they err on the side of being aggressive.”
Conger, Trout and Santiago were all charged with errors on the play.
“That was a lot happening on one play, and it was obviously a strange one. We thought we had Cabrera struck out, and all of a sudden they had a run in and a runner on second base,” said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, a former catcher. “When you are a catcher, you can’t wait for the ump to make the call on that pitch. You know where the ball was, and you know what the call should be. Hank thought it was strike three, and he’s following through with the throw. After that, things didn’t go well.”
In the sixth, Conger threw wildly to first trying to pick off Austin Jackson, who was able to take second. Nick Castellanos followed with an RBI single to put Detroit ahead 2-1.
Rick Porcello (2-1) allowed a run and five hits in seven innings, striking out four and walking one. Three relievers finished, with Joe Nathan pitching the ninth for his third save in five chances.
Santiago (0-3) allowed two unearned runs and two hits in 5 2-3 innings. He walked five and struck out seven.
Santiago threw 119 pitches and was wild throughout, but the Tigers never really solved him. He was lifted after walking Jackson with two outs in the sixth. Reliever Kevin Jepsen came in and was victimized by Conger’s error and Castellanos’ single.
Porcello was pitching exactly one year after allowing nine runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Angels — he also gave up seven runs to Los Angeles in a start last June.
On Sunday, he allowed three straight singles in the first inning but kept the Angels quiet after that. Albert Pujols hit a first-inning single but remains at 498 homers as Los Angeles heads to Washington to play a three-game series against the Nationals.
Trout, who struck out four times Saturday, went hitless Sunday and grounded out with the tying run on second in the eighth.
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