May 30, 2016
Jhoulys Chacin threw a four-hitter to win a scintillating duel with Justin Verlander, and Cliff Pennington‘s tiebreaking RBI single in the Angels‘ five-run eighth inning propelled Los Angeles to a 5-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
Chacin (1-1) and Verlander (4-5) combined to retire the first 27 batters at Angel Stadium before C.J. Cron’s single leading off the fifth for Los Angeles. Chacin lost his own perfect game bid on Andrew Romine‘s two-out single in the sixth.
The pitchers traded zeros until the Angels led off the eighth with three straight singles against Verlander, who gave up one hit in the first seven innings of Detroit’s fourth loss in five games.
Chacin threw his third career complete game in his fourth start for Los Angeles.
Facing Detroit for the first time, the veteran right-hander struck out 10 and threw his first complete game since 2011. He fell one out shy of the second shutout of his career when J.D. Martinez doubled and scored on Victor Martinez‘s long fly in the ninth.
Chacin’s dominance was invaluable after the Angels’ bullpen was taxed in a 13-inning loss to Houston on Sunday, their fourth defeat in five games.
With shadows on the field for an early holiday start at Angel Stadium, both pitchers were nearly unhittable early.
Chacin struck out five of Detroit’s first eight batters and threw 5 2/3 perfect innings before Romine connected. Ian Kinsler also singled before Chacin struck out J.D. Martinez, and the Tigers got two more runners in the seventh before Chacin escaped the jam.
Verlander, who threw eight scoreless innings last week against Philadelphia, opened in Anaheim with four perfect innings before Cron blooped a single to right. He sat down eight straight batters shortly after that lone hit, but the bottom of the Angels’ order put together an unlikely rally.
After Johnny Giavotella and Rafael Ortega opened the eighth with back-to-back singles, Pennington failed on two bunt attempts before confidently lining a single to left.
Gregorio Petit then grounded to short, but Romine’s throw home was too late to get Ortega, and James McCann’s subsequent throw to first skipped into right field, scoring Pennington.
Albert Pujols and Cron added RBI singles off Buck Farmer in the eighth. Pujols has 20 career RBIs on Memorial Day, the most among active big leaguers.
FIELD OF SCREAMS
Detroit has lost 18 of its last 22 games in Anaheim since 2009.
Tigers: Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann went through a pregame workout at Angel Stadium, and he’ll throw a bullpen session Tuesday in hopes of returning later this week from a groin strain.
Angels: Closer Huston Street was activated from the disabled list before the game. He hadn’t pitched since April 23 due to a strained oblique muscle.
Tigers: Anibal Sanchez (3-6, 6.04 ERA) is winless in four career starts at Angel Stadium.
Angels: Hector Santiago (3-3, 4.58 ERA) got ejected in the third inning of his last start in Texas.
Follow Pedro Moura on Twitter: @PedroMoura