Thaiss homers, drives in 3 to lead Angels over Tigers 6-1
By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani are the Los Angeles’ Angels top players, but it was a pair of rookies who came up big in Tuesday night’s 6-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
Matt Thaiss homered and drove in three runs while Griffin Canning threw four-hit ball over six innings as the Angels put together a good game in what has been a disappointing homestand against two of the worst teams in the American League.
Los Angeles had momentum coming back home after a pair of wins at Chavez Ravine against the Dodgers. But it dropped three of four to Baltimore and has split the first two games with Detroit.
Ohtani was 3 of 20 at the plate in his previous five games but bounced back by going 3 for 4 with an RBI and stolen base. It is his sixth game this season with three or more hits.
This is Thaiss’ third game with three RBIs since the All-Star break. The third baseman got the scoring started in the second when he took Drew VerHagen’s fastball over the wall in right-center for his fifth homer of the season. Four have come in the past five games.
“Every level you go things move a little fast but I have been able to get more comfortable after getting more plate appearances and seeing different arms,” Thaiss said.
Canning (4-6) struck out seven as he went at least six innings for the seventh time in 15 starts. The Tigers had runners on second and third with two outs in the fifth inning, but the right-hander got Niko Goodrum to line out to center to end the frame.
Canning said he was trying to stay aggressive throughout the game and wasn’t worrying if hitters made contact.
“I was letting my stuff play and trying to stay on the attack,” he said.
Angels manager Brad Ausmus said he was thinking about taking Canning out after five innings, but two runs in the fifth extended the lead to 4-0 and gave LA more breathing room.
“Once we extended the lead I was more comfortable. He was pretty efficient, especially during the first four innings,” Ausmus said.
Catcher Jake Rogers, who was making his big league debut, drove in Detroit’s lone run in the seventh with a single. Drew VerHagen (1-2) went 4 2/3 innings and surrendered four runs (three earned) on 10 hits.
The Tigers have dropped seven of eight and are 4-14 since the All-Star break.
“We hit some balls right on the screws and right at people. They made plays which frustrated us in the dugout,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I thought VerHagen did fine. If we make some plays, I think everything would have been better for him.”
Detroit had two errors that led to two LA runs. The worst one came in the sixth when Rogers dropped Luis Rengifo’s fly ball between the mound and home plate. Rengifo eventually scored on Brian Goodwin’s ground out.
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES
It is only the 21st game where the Angels have had their starter go six or more innings, which is last in the majors. … SS Luis Rengifo went 2 for 4. His 54 hits since being recalled on May 21 are third most by an AL rookie behind Cleveland’s Oscar Mercado (66) and Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (58). … Detroit RF Nick Castellanos had his 37th double in the sixth inning, which is tied with Boston’s Rafael Devers for most in the majors. … Rogers is the fifth Tigers catcher with a hit and RBI in his debut and first since Alex Avila on Aug. 6, 2009, against Baltimore.
Tigers: OF Christin Stewart was placed on the seven-day concussion injury list. Stewart ran into the left-field fence during the fifth inning of Monday night’s game while trying to chase down Kole Calhoun’s home run. Victor Reyes was called up from Triple-A Toledo.
Angels: C Kevan Smith was originally in the lineup, but was scratched an hour before first pitch due to right big toe soreness.
Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris (2-8, 4.89 ERA) is looking for his first win since May 12 as Detroit closes out a seven-game road trip.
Angels: Close the homestand with rookie LHP JosÈ Suarez (2-1, 5.35 ERA) facing the Tigers for the first time.