ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Miguel Cabrera homered during a three-run seventh inning and the Detroit Tigers broke out of an offensive funk and beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-4 on Wednesday.
Cabrera greeted reliever Michael Kohn (0-2) by hitting a tiebreaking, two-run shot over the left-field wall.
Victor Martinez drove in two runs as the Tigers avoided a three-game sweep. They scored just one run in the first two games of the series.
Brad Penny (6-6) settled in after allowing three runs in the first. He gave up four runs on six hits over 6 1-3 innings. Jose Valverde worked a perfect ninth for his 21st save.
Mark Trumbo homered for the Angels, who had won four straight. Howie Kendrick drove in a pair of runs and Vernon Wells hit an RBI double.
The Tigers entered the seventh trailing 3-2. Austin Jackson drew a leadoff walk from Hisanori Takahashi and moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Ramon Santiago. Andy Dirks followed with a tying single.
The Angels went to the bullpen and brought in the right-handed Kohn to face the right-handed Cabrera, who hit the third pitch for his 18th homer of the season.
Valverde entered having allowed three earned runs in his last four innings. He induced a pair of groundouts and got Trumbo looking for strike three to end it. The win was Detroit’s third in the past nine games.
Trumbo pulled the Angels within 5-4 with a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh to chase Penny. It was the just the second hit since the first inning allowed by Penny, who won for only the second time in nine starts.
Los Angeles starter Tyler Chatwood was in line for the win when he was removed with one out in the sixth after throwing 101 pitches. He allowed two unearned runs on four hits, but walled five.
Martinez got the Tigers on the board with a two-run single in the third off Chatwood that scored Don Kelly and Jackson. The runs were unearned after third baseman Alberto Callaspo fielded Jackson’s grounder but threw wide of first and was charged with an error.
Bobby Abreu, who has spent much of the season as the Angels’ designated hitter, showed off his arm strength in the fourth by throwing out Kelly at home plate. Kelly was attempting to score from second on Santiago’s single when Abreu fired a strike from left field to catcher Hank Conger, who blocked the plate and applied the tag for the third out to preserve the 3-2 lead.
The Angels struck for three runs in the first. Wells followed singles by Torii Hunter and Abreu with a RBI double and Kendrick extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a two-run single to make it 3-0.
NOTES: Chatwood is 0-3 in his last four home starts. ... Angels SS Erick Aybar was given a day off. Manager Mike Scioscia said Aybar has been playing a lot and is dealing with some quadriceps soreness. ... RF Brennan Boesch was scratched from the Tigers’ lineup with soreness after fouling a pitch of his right knee on Tuesday night.