DETROIT (AP) — Albert Pujols homered and the Angels scored three times on wild pitches in an 8-7 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
Both teams came into the game with four-game losing streaks, dropping the Angels 1 1/2 games behind Texas for the second American League wild-card spot and the Tigers to sixth, 5 1/2 games back.
Jered Weaver (6-9) picked up the win, despite allowing six runs on seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. Weaver struck out one batter and didn’t issue a walk.
Huston Street got the final four outs for his 30th save.
Alfredo Simon (11-8) struggled badly, giving up eight runs on nine hits, four walks and three wild pitches. He struck out two.
According to STATS, Simon joined Rob Bell of the Rangers and Sergio Santos of Toronto as the only pitchers since 1974 to throw three run-scoring wild pitches in a game.
The Angels led 3-0 before Simon recorded an out, and 4-0 in the first. Kole Calhoun started the game with a walk, Mike Trout singled and Pujols hit his 554th career homer. David Murphy followed with a double, was bunted to third and scored on Simon’s first wild pitch.
Detroit tied the game in the third. James McCann led off with a single, but Weaver retired Andrew Romine and got Anthony Gose to hit a routine fly to right-center. Trout and Calhoun, though, both stopped to let the other take it, and the ball dropped between them for a double.
Weaver, who has a history of getting rattled at Comerica Park, hit Jose Iglesias with a pitch to load the bases for Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera doubled down the left-field line, clearing the bases, and scored on J. D. Martinez’s single.
After the inning, Weaver appeared to yell at Trout in the dugout.
Simon, though, quickly fell behind again. In the next half-inning, Erick Aybar and C.J. Cron started with singles, before Simon walked Carlos Perez, with ball four turning into his second run-scoring wild pitch of the game. After a sacrifice bunt, David DeJesus hit a bloop RBI single to shallow left, making it 6-4.
Murphy kept things going in the fifth, leading off with a single and scoring on Aybar’s double. Aybar later scored on Simon’s third wild pitch to give the Angels an 8-4 lead.
McCann made it 8-6 in the sixth with a two-run homer off Weaver, and Nick Castellanos added an RBI single off Joe Smith in the seventh. Pujols, though, saved the tying run from scoring with a diving stop of McCann’s grounder.
Detroit put runners on the corners in the eighth, but Street got Victor Martinez to ground out to end the inning.
Angels: 2B Grant Green left the game in the fourth inning due to right knee discomfort, which left Los Angeles short-handed in the infield with Johnny Giavotella on the 15-day disabled list with an undisclosed illness.
Tigers: 2B Ian Kinsler was out of the lineup for a regular day off. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said that he wants to get days off for LF J.D. Martinez and 1B Miguel Cabrera in the next few days.
WEAVER’S DETROIT HISTORY
On July 31, 2011, Weaver had a meltdown after feeling he had been shown up on Magglio Ordonez’s home run. After Weaver kept yelling at Ordonez, Carlos Guillen hit a seventh-inning homer, stood at the plate, flipped his bat and then skipped sideways to first, staring at Weaver. Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt tried to calm a furious Weaver, including warning both benches, but the next pitch sailed inches over Alex Avila’s head. Weaver was ejected and had to be escorted off the field by teammates while screaming at the Tigers bench.
The teams continue a three-game series Wednesday night, with Justin Verlander (1-6, 3.86) facing Hector Santiago (7-7, 2.91). Verlander has allowed one earned run or fewer in six of his last eight starts, but only won one of the games.
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