Matt Shoemaker relies on command, and in the first few innings of this game he had command to spare. He was locating his split fastball well and racked up five strikeouts in the first four innings. There were times when he stumbled slightly, like giving up a sac fly to James McCann, or getting into a jam in the fourth, but he looked quite good early on. His last outing had a similar theme, but the offense was unable to pick him up. Tonight, he’d be looking to his teammates once again.
The Angels faced David Price, and were handily blanked and no-hit by him until a David Freese single in the fourth opened up the game. In the next side, the Halos poured it on Price, finally getting a feel for his fastball and getting some good hitting with runners on. It started with Grant Green getting an infield single, which was followed by a Johnny Giavotella double to the right corner, putting men on second and third. Erick Aybar, gone for the previous two games due to a hamstring issue, then knocked in a run with a single, and not to be outdone by his leadoff hitter, Mike Trout got an RBI single of his own, and gave the Angels a 2-1 lead.
It was in the sixth when things got tough for Matt "The Cobbler" Shoemaker. Through both contact and walks, he let some Tigers get on, and things snowballed from there when Johnny Giavotella, fielding a routine out at second, threw the ball wide to Pujols, and Yoenis Cespedes scored from third. With the score 2-2 and the Tigers still smelling blood, Shoemaker was lifted for Cesar Ramos, and for the last out of the inning, Cam Bedrosian once again got the bullpen call. They could have had a way worse sixth inning, but the damage was contained to just that errant Johnny G throw.
Cam Bedrosian stayed in for the seventh, and it further solidified his claim as the team’s leader of inducing heart attacks. Jose Iglesias got a single to start off the inning, then Bedrosian walked Anthony Gose. With two on and two out, Miguel Cabrera came to the plate and Cam nibbled around the strike zone, loading the bases for Yoenis Cespedes. But Bedrosian got him to fly out to right and the Angels kept the game tied and got through a turbulent inning. It wasn’t pretty, but he held the Tigers for an inning, so that’s a net positive for Cam Bedrosian.
David Price stayed out in the eighth, and immediately walked Freese and then gave up a close infield single to Chris Iannetta. Kole Calhoun sac bunted both runners over, making the tying run at third base, in striking distance. Grant Green was intentionally walked by Price, loading up the bases. Carlos Perez pinch hit for recently-called up Alfredo Marte(1-3 tonight) and hit an inflied pop fly. Perhaps it was not the young catcher’s night for another big hit, but they were at least finally able to get Price out of the game, as the Tigers called in Joba Chamberlain to get the last out of the eighth.
But nobody they brought in would have been any match for the Angels’ Certified Game Breaker, Johnny "The Entertainer" Giavotella. Johnny knocked the ball up the middle, taking the second baseman deep enough into shallow center that two runs plated and the Angels had a 4-2 lead heading into the ninth. This kid and his game winning hits!
Joe Smith used this game to get settled back into his usual eigthh inning role, and Huston Street came out in the ninth to close out the Tigers. The closer made quick work of them and Angel Stadium erupted in a huge, much needed four game sweep. It was not only a sweep, it was a breakout of the offense, whether it was showing their ability to hit for power, or showing that they can fight back against a top tier starter and win close games. There is a buzz in the Halosphere, and the spirits are high. The Angels look to finish this homestand strong, facing Tampa Bay next.