ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
DETROIT — Phil Coke thought he threw a pretty good pitch to Albert Pujols.
It wasn’t good enough.
Pujols hit a tiebreaking double off Coke in the 10th inning, and the Los Angeles Angels beat Detroit 3-1 on Thursday for their ninth straight victory over the Tigers.
The struggling Coke (0-5) was charged with both runs in the 10th, raising his ERA to 6.56.
“I don’t know what’s not clicking,” he said. “I feel like I’m not contributing in a positive way and that’s a tough pill for me to swallow.”
Mike Trout had four hits and was in the middle of the decisive rally for the Angels, who completed a three-game sweep. Jered Weaver pitched seven strong innings in a tight duel with Detroit right-hander Doug Fister.
J.B. Shuck singled leading off the 10th against Coke and went to third on Trout’s single to right field. Pujols sent a drive to deep center, where Austin Jackson tried to make a difficult catch with his back to home plate.
The ball tipped off the webbing of Jackson’s glove, hit the wall, and trickled to the ground.
“The Pujols pitch wasn’t a bad pitch. I think that maybe it wasn’t the right pitch in that particular moment,” Coke said. “I didn’t feel like I made the perfect pitch to him by any means, but the last thing I thought he was going to do is hit it as far as he did.”
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said: “That ball was crushed.”
After an intentional walk to Howie Kendrick loaded the bases, Josh Hamilton made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly.
Earlier in the game, neither team could do much against the starters.
Fister yielded one run and seven hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out four. After the Angels tied the score in the fourth, he gave up only one hit in his final three innings and didn’t allow a runner past second.
“He did a tremendous job. The fact that he was able to contain that offense, that shows that he’s a good pitcher,” catcher Brayan Pena said.
Fister was relieved by Al Alburquerque, who pitched a scoreless eighth. The Angels got runners to second and third with two outs in the ninth against Joaquin Benoit, but he struck out Erick Aybar swinging at a 3-2 pitch to get out of the jam.
Making his sixth start since returning from a broken left (non-throwing) elbow, Weaver gave up one run and four hits. He walked two and struck out six.
After the Tigers scored in the second, Weaver allowed only a hit and a walk in his final five innings. He retired his last 13 batters.