DETROIT (AP) — James McCann hit a drive to left field and paused ever so slightly — not enough to cause any sort of incident, but enough to make it clear he realized how well he’d connected.
“That was a good feeling, and a big spot in the game to open it up like that,” the Detroit catcher said. “I try not to show anybody up. It was definitely a special hit, a special feeling for me.”
McCann’s grand slam in the third inning lifted the Tigers to a 9-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. Matthew Boyd pitched impressively into the sixth inning for Detroit, and although Mike Trout hit his major league-leading 18th homer for the Angels in the ninth, by then the Tigers had this game well under control.
Boyd (3-4) allowed two hits in five-plus innings. His first scoreless outing of the season came on a hot day in which Detroit outfielder Niko Goodrum had to leave the game because of heat exhaustion. The temperature was around 90 degrees when Goodrum was removed for a defensive replacement in the fourth.
“Niko’s fine,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He was pretty shaky out there. He was having a hard time grabbing his breath. … He’s doing good right now.”
Before leaving the game, Goodrum made a contribution. He beat out an infield hit in the second and went to third on a single by John Hicks. JaCoby Jones grounded into a double play, but the run came home to put the Tigers up 1-0.
McCann broke the game open an inning later with a drive to left for his third career grand slam. Leonys Martin added a solo homer in the seventh, and Victor Reyes made it 7-0 with a triple later that inning — his first career RBI.
Tyler Skaggs (3-4) allowed five runs and six hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out five.
“I’ve got to be better than that, but I didn’t get any breaks,” Skaggs said. “There was a lot of soft contact that found a hole, and then when I make a bad pitch, it ends up as a grand slam.”
Boyd walked three and struck out four.
“He did a nice job of changing speeds and moving the ball around,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We got his pitch count up, but we didn’t get a lot of good swings.”
Albert Pujols hit an RBI double in the eighth for the Angels and scored on a double by Andrelton Simmons. Trout’s solo shot came with two outs in the ninth.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado and Scioscia were both ejected in the seventh after Maldonado was called out on strikes.
OHTANI’S NEXT START?
Scioscia said two-way star Shohei Ohtani is “penciled in” to pitch Wednesday night at Detroit, but there’s still some uncertainty. “We will let you know (Tuesday),” Scioscia said.
Before the game, McCann posted pictures on Twitter of shoes with the names of service members on them. Afterward, he talked about what Memorial Day means to him.
“I feel very blessed to be able to play a game for a living, and the freedoms that we have here,” McCann said. “Being able to honor the fallen, people that paid the ultimate sacrifice — one day doesn’t seem like enough.”
Justin Upton and Ian Kinsler returned to Detroit as members of the Angels. The Tigers traded Upton to Los Angeles last season and dealt Kinsler there in the offseason. Each had one hit Monday.
The Angels recalled RHP Akeel Morris from Triple-A Salt Lake and designated LHP Ian Krol for assignment. Morris gave up the two Detroit runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth.
Angels: Simmons appeared shaken up but was able to stay in the game after nearly making a spectacular assist at shortstop in the third. With men on first and second and one out, Simmons made a diving stop to his right on Jeimer Candelario’s grounder — then immediately flung the ball to third to try for a force play. Dixon Machado was there safely, however, and McCann followed with his grand slam. … Upton (forearm) was back in the lineup after being held out Sunday against the New York Yankees.
Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (right shoulder) made a rehab start Sunday night with Triple-A Toledo, allowing seven runs in two thirds of an inning.
Detroit RHP Michael Fulmer (2-3) takes the mound Tuesday night against RHP Nick Tropeano (2-3) of the Angels.
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