ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Mike Scioscia revamped Anaheim's lineup
in an attempt to squeeze more runs out of his stagnant offense.
Chone Figgins and the Angels responded in a big way.
Figgins, dropped from second in the batting order to ninth, hit
a tiebreaking two-run homer and drove in four runs to lead the
Angels to an 11-8 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday
"It was time to shuffle the deck a little bit because of our
lack of consistency," Scioscia said. "Some guys on our club are
having terrific seasons, but we're underproductive as far as the
number of runs this group has generated.
"We have it within us to hit the ball at that pace, but you
certainly don't expect to come out and get 11 runs. And we needed
every one of those runs tonight."
"He was just trying to shake some things up, and it looked like
it worked," Figgins said. "Tonight the guys started feeding off
each other, starting with Eck."
Erstad followed David Eckstein's first-inning homer with a
double and scored on Anderson's single. Figgins tied it at 4 in the
fourth with a two-run single against Detroit starter Nate
Robertson, then put the Angels ahead 8-6 in the sixth with a drive
into the lower seats in the right-field corner after a leadoff
single by Jose Molina.
"We don't expect Figgy to have four RBI every night from the
nine-hole, but we do expect him to keep that lineup flowing from
the nine- to the one-spot and be able to impact the offense in that
spot," Scioscia said. "He'll still be hitting before some guys we
want to drive in runs and getting himself in scoring position."
Figgins' fourth homer of the season triggered a five-run inning
against rookie Roberto Novoa (1-1).
"I finally kept one fair," joked Figgins, who has pulled a
number of pitches on the wrong side of the right-field pole this
season. "No matter where you hit in the lineup, you want to
contribute to the team. As long as I'm in the lineup, it doesn't
matter where I'm batting."
The other runs in the sixth came on RBI singles by Jose Guillen
and Tim Salmon, and a sacrifice fly by Anderson. Guillen and Robb
Quinlan also homered for the Angels, whose other four-homer game
this season was at Dodger Stadium on June 25.
Francisco Rodriguez inherited a bases-loaded, one-out jam from
Brendan Donnelly in the eighth and got out of it by striking out
Ivan Rodriguez and White. The right-hander finished up with a
scoreless ninth for his ninth save in 15 chances.
"He's the nastiest pitcher in baseball," White said. "That
curveball's unhittable. You just battle and try to do the best you
can, but good pitching will stop good hitting at any time, so my
hat's off to him. He did what he needed to do."
Trailing 6-4, Anaheim tied it in the fifth when Guillen homered
to center with one out and Quinlan homered to left-center with two
In the sixth, Gregg walked his first two batters but Quinlan
charged in from his third base position and caught Jason Smith's
attempted sacrifice bunt on the fly, doubling up rookie Nook Logan
at first base, and Carlos Guillen grounded out.
White hit his 18th homer with two outs in the fifth, giving the
Tigers a 5-4 lead after the Angels tied it with two runs in the
fourth. Pena walked and scored on a double by Craig Monroe that
The Tigers pulled ahead 4-2 with three runs in the top of the
fourth. After Pena homered, Monroe walked, stole second and
advanced on a passed ball before Brandon Inge singled him home.
Inge scored from second on Smith's single after a sacrifice bunt by
Pena drew a leadoff walk in the second and came around on Marcus
Thames' one-out double. Thames started in left field after DH
Dmitri Young was scratched just before gametime because of a
bruised right shin.
Eckstein's homer was his first since June 25, 2003, against
Seattle's Matthew White, and snapped an 0-for-16 drought.
Salmon beat out an infield single to shortstop in the first
inning for his 100th career hit against the Tigers. The only AL
team he hasn't reached that figure against is Tampa Bay, which has
played only 66 games against the Angels since entering the league
in 1998. ... Tigers RF Bobby Higginson, mired in a 3-for-33 slump
and batting .159 since July 1, sat against a right-handed starter
for the third time this week despite the fact that he was 9-for-16
against Ortiz with two homers.