All night long, the buzz around Comerica Park was focused on Miguel Cabrera’s potential 500th career home run, but to the dismay of the Tiger faithful, the young Halos pounced on the opportunity to flex their muscles in grand fashion and supply a much-needed 8-2 win.
The Angels offense took advantage of early command issues for Tigers starter Casey Mize, who labored through a 33-pitch first inning. Shohei Ohtani wasted no time lining the first pitch of the game back up the middle, then stealing his 18th base two pitches later. With all of the accolades Ohtani has accomplished this season, this steal placed him and Mike Trout (2018) as the only two players in franchise history to reach 39+ home runs and 18+ stolen bases in a single season.
Shohei Ohtani has 39 home runs and 18 stolen bases. Mike Trout (2018) is the only other player in #Angels franchise history to reach both of those figures in a single season.— Brent Maguire (@bmags94) August 17, 2021
Oh, and Ohtani has a 2.93 ERA in 92 innings as a pitcher. https://t.co/l6gLioInS8
Ohtani’s great baserunning paid off as rookie Brandon Marsh put the Angels on the board first, lacing a two-out RBI Single into center field for the 1-0 advantage. Marsh has now recorded a hit in five of his last six games and swinging a .346 average (9-for-26) over his last seven games.
After an off day yesterday in New York, infielder Jack Mayfield welcomed himself back to the lineup in the third inning with an opposite field single through the shift on the right side of the infield bringing David Fletcher around, adding to the lead 2-0. With Anthony Rendon out for the remainder of the season due to right hip impingement surgery, Mayfield continues to be a valued waiver-wire pick up. Not only is the former Oklahoma Sooner defensively sound at either third (predominantly) or shortstop, but flashing clutch hitting with seven home runs and now 15 total runs batted in.
Starter Dylan Bundy began the night tossing 2.1 perfect innings before issuing a walk to catcher Grayson Greiner that eventually led to an RBI Single by Jonathan Schoop, getting the Tigers on the board, but still trailing 2-1. After a 1-2-3 fourth inning, Bundy failed to make it out of the fifth after yielding a game-tying two-out RBI Single by Robbie Grossman that blooped over Fletcher’s head in shallow right.
Coming out of the bullpen, Austin Warren wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam keeping the score even at two a piece and closing the book on Bundy’s 18th start for a final line of: 4.2 IP | 3 H | 2 ER | 2 BB | 3 K (63 Pitches - 38 Strikes).
Both teams went quiet into the night during the sixth through eighth inning with the Angels bullpen getting impressive outings from Steve Cishek, who now has tossed 6.1 scoreless innings over his last six appearances and Mike Mayers, who kept the score even after eight.
The drama and excitement exploded out of the Angel bats in the ninth as Jo Adell crushed a 416-foot (112 MPH exit velocity) grand slam with two-outs to take the lead permanently off Detroit’s All-Star reliever Gregory Soto for his first career grand slam and first home run of 2021.
The exuberance that shined not only off Adell but the entire team inspired catcher Kurt Suzuki to blast off as well in the very next at-bat for his fourth home run of the year to add to the score 7-2.
For added insurance, Fletcher drove Juan Lagares in from second courtesy of a fielding error from Schoop at second. The results of the six-run, 11-batter inning gave the Angels an 8-2 lead and the first time they scored eight or more runs in a game since August 3rd, when they scored 11 versus the Texas Rangers.
Mayers returned to the mound for the bottom of the ninth and shut the door on any potential Tigers rally, securing his third win of the season and fourth consecutive scoreless outing, all while locking in the first win of the 10-game road trip.
Here is Jo Adell’s post-game reaction to his big 9th inning blast:
Game two of this three-game series against the Tigers continues tomorrow night as RHP Shohei Ohtani takes the ball for his 18th start of the year (7-1, 2.93 ERA) versus LHP Tarik Skubal (8-10, 4.10 ERA).
Angels News & Notes
- Mike Trout was seen participating in some warm up drills and playing catch with Justin Upton prior to the game
- Jared Walsh recorded his first 4-walk game of the season
- Warren, Cishek and Mayers combined to toss 4.1 scoreless innings of relief, Allowing just four hits and striking out six