DETROIT (AP) -- The fireworks display outside Comerica Park on
Saturday night wasn't the work of the Los Angeles Angels.
It just seemed that way.
It was getting late in the season, and Chone Figgins had not yet put his personal stamp -- the bases-loaded triple -- on any Angels game. So he did just that in Detroit, stroking just such a drive off Todd Jones and providing LA with the go-ahead runs in the top of the 10th. It was the third straight year that Figgins had generated a three-run triple; the only other player with such a hit in each of the past three seasons (including this one) is Juan Pierre.
Vladimir Guerrero hit a tying RBI single in the ninth inning as
a jazz festival's show lit up the Detroit skyline and the Angels
scored five runs in the 10th inning to beat the Detroit Tigers 7-2
Saturday night.The Angels pulled within 7½ games of AL West-leading Oakland
with the victory."That's a great win," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
"We've got a big challenge ahead of us, but if we can consistently
do the things we did tonight, we're going to put up some wins."Todd Jones (2-6) was charged with four runs, two earned, and
four hits in 1 1/3 innings for the Tigers. He did not speak to the
media after the game, preferring to leave before the night's second
fireworks show -- this one at the stadium. He did leave a sign in
his locker."I am not ducking the media. I wanted to beat the fireworks,"
the sign read. "I sucked tonight. I blew the game. It's all my
fault. Thanks, T. Jones."Chone Figgins' bases-loaded triple keyed the 10th-inning rally.Juan Rivera started the inning by reaching base on a throwing
error by Tigers shortstop Neifi Perez, who had entered the game in
the ninth after Carlos Guillen pulled a hamstring running the bases.
Darin Erstad sacrificed Rivera to second, and Jones intentionally
walked Adam Kennedy.Jeff Mathis then blooped a single to center to load the bases,
and Figgins broke an 0-for-18 slump with a liner into the
right-center field gap."Things haven't been going well for me lately, so I was happy
to get another opportunity to get a hit tonight," he said. "I was
just pleased I hit it far enough that I could run some bases."Figgins was out at the plate on a botched suicide squeeze, but
Zach Miner walked Maicer Izturis and Orlando Cabrera followed with
a two-run homer.Francisco Rodriguez (2-2) got the win with 1 2/3 innings of
relief, extending his shutout streak to 23 outings.The Tigers were one out away from winning in the ninth, but
Izturis reached base on a throwing error by Guillen and moved to
second on an infield single by Cabrera. Vladimir Guerrero then
blooped a tying single off Jones as the fireworks started, ending
his streak of 19 successful save opportunities.The Tigers had runners on second and third with one out in the
ninth but Rodriguez struck out Omar Infante and Ramon Santiago flew
out to deep right.Rivera broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the eighth
but Marcus Thames drove in two runs in the bottom half with a base
hit to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.Justin Verlander got a no-decision despite pitching seven
shutout innings for Detroit. Verlander, who threw a career-high 126
pitches, allowed four hits and four walks while striking out six."I'm never happy when the team loses, but that's the way
baseball goes," Verlander said. "I kept us in it, and I'm pleased
with that."Angels starter Joe Saunders pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing one
run and five hits. He struck out five and did not walk a batter."I threw some strikes and got ahead of guys," he said.
"That's the big thing for me."The Angels loaded the bases with none out in the second, but
Verlander got out of the jam. Howie Kendrick lined out, Kennedy
grounded into a force at the plate and Mike Napoli popped out.Los Angeles then left two runners on in both the sixth and
seventh innings."We had opportunities, but Verlander reached back for an extra
gear," Scioscia said. "Give him credit."Meanwhile, the Tigers didn't get a runner into scoring position
until the eighth-inning rally.
The start of the game was delayed 15 minutes by rain. ...
The Tigers recalled 1B Chris Shelton from Triple-A Toledo Saturday.
Shelton had one of the best starts of any major league hitter,
batting .326 with 10 homers in April, but slumped during the summer
and was sent to Toledo on July 31. ... Guerrero extended his
hitting streak to a season-best 19 games. ... Saunders matched the
longest outing of his career -- he also pitched 7 1/3 innings in his
major league debut on Aug. 16 last season. ... Tigers manager Jim
Leyland said that he didn't know the extent of Guillen's injury.
"It's high up rather than down in the middle of the leg, which
hopefully is a little bit encouraging. We'll just have to wait and