DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers went ahead and put three rookies into their starting lineup.
It paid off in a big way.Scott Sizemore and Brennan Boesch hit their first career homers in an eight-run fourth inning and Austin Jackson went 5 for 5 as the Tigers beat the Los Angeles Angels 10-6."This was great," Boesch said. "Austin and Scott are two of my best friends on the team, and we're all pulling for each other. When we see each other do well, it relaxes us and helps us play our own games."Detroit trailed 4-2 going into the fourth, but Brandon Inge led off with a walk before Laird and Sizemore hit their back-to-back homers. With one out, Jackson singled and scored on Johnny Damon's double. Magglio Ordonez reached on an error and Miguel Cabrera singled before Boesch's grand slam into the Angels bullpen."You play little mind games with yourself, and you are praying for it to go out even though you know it is gone," he said. "It's even better because we got the win. I got a couple hits in my first game, but it was still a bummer because we lost."Jackson became the first Tigers rookie with five hits in a game since the player he replaced, Curtis Granderson, did it on Sept. 18, 2005. He is hitting .364 and leads the AL in hits."It's been going pretty well," Jackson said. "I've been consistent with my approach, and that's been the goal. All three of us are rookies, and we kind of feed off each other. If one of us is doing something, the others can help him out, because we're all in the same boat."Sizemore also started the season replacing a fan favorite, Placido Polanco, while Boesch has taken over left field with Carlos Guillen on the disabled list. None of the three had played in the majors before this year."They all had big nights, obviously," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "Jackson had hit his first homer already, but that had to be neat for Sizemore and Boesch. That's got to be a big thrill for them."Rick Porcello (2-2) won despite allowing five runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.Joel Pineiro (2-3) gave up a career-high 10 runs in 3 1/3 innings. On April 19, he shut the Tigers out for 7 1/3 innings, but has allowed 16 runs in 9 1/3 innings in his last two starts."I can't believe how badly I was missing locations tonight," Pineiro said. "I got things under control in the second and third inning, and got some groundballs, but then it all came apart in the fourth."Hideki Matsui's RBI groundout gave the Angels a 1-0 lead in the first, but Johnny Damon drove home Jackson with a triple in the bottom of the inning and then scored his 1,500th career run on Magglio Ordonez's sacrifice fly.Torii Hunter's three-run homer off Porcello gave the Angels a 4-2 lead in the third, but Detroit took control in the fourth."Detroit is a team with a lot of power, and J.P. just elevated a few too many pitches," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He relies a lot on his sinker, and when it gets flat like it did tonight, that puts a lot of pressure on him."Howie Kendrick got the Angels within 10-6 with an eighth-inning groundout, but Jose Valverde ended the game with a perfect ninth.
According to STATS LLC, the last teammates to hit their first career homers in the same inning were Cleveland's Victor Martinez and Earl Snyder, who did it on Sept. 29, 2002 against Kansas City. ... Ordonez left the game after four innings with what the Tigers announced as "abdominal cramping." Leyland said Ordonez was having tests and the team would know more on Saturday. ... The Angels had three errors in their previous 11 games before having three in the first four innings on Friday. "A sinker-ball pitcher like Joel relies on his defense turning grounders into outs," Scioscia said. "We've done that well all season, but we didn't do it today."