Four Tigers ejected, offense frustrated in 3-2 loss to Angels

Riding a five-game winning streak and having won six of their last eight overall, the Detroit Tigers came into Saturday’s game against the Angels with a chance to jump back into the playoff picture. A win would have tied them with Baltimore for the second Wild Card spot in the American League.

Taking the ball for Detroit was rookie Michael Fulmer (10-4, 2.58 ERA), who was tagged for six ER his last time out against the Red Sox, taking the loss in that game. On the bump for the Angels was Brett Oberholtzer (3-2, 5.27 ERA), who was making his first major league start in more than a calendar year.


Michael Fulmer worked around a two-out single from Albert Pujols to toss a scoreless 1st. In the bottom half, Ian Kinsler clubbed one to left, his sixth leadoff homer of the season to give Detroit a 1-0 lead. They were able to get runners on first and second with one out but could not cash in any more.

Fulmer went 1-2-3 in the 2nd inning. The Tigers got a leadoff single from Casey McGehee in the home half but nothing doing. In that inning, James McCann struck out looking on a very questionable and low called strike three. It would be a recurring theme all night long from that point forward.

In the 3rd, Fulmer lost his command a little bit as the first four batters reached for the Angels. After hitting the leadoff man, he surrendered a two-run jack to right off the bat of the No. 9 hitter Kaleb Cowart to give the Halos a 2-1 lead. Kole Calhoun then singled up the middle and he scored three batters later on a base hit from C.J. Cron to make it 3-1 Angels.

In the bottom half, the fireworks began. First Miguel Cabrera struck out to lead off the frame and he disagreed with the strike zone from home plate umpire Mike Everitt. However, it was Victor Martínez who had the last straw. After another questionably called first-pitch strike, Martínez refused to step back in the box and continued to disagree with Everitt, who eventually tossed him from the game and then Martínez got his money’s worth.

Tyler Collins took Martínez’s place in the order and grounded out to finish the at-bat.



Fulmer in the 4th got into a mini jam again, allowing runners to reach first and second with one out but got strikeouts of Calhoun and Mike Trout to end the inning. The Angels starter Oberholtzer was done after three innings and in the 4th came Saturday’s originally scheduled starter for the Angels Jhoulys Chacín. Like the Angels in the top half, Detroit got runners to first and second with one out but could not capitalize.

Fulmer put the Angels down in order on three line outs, that would be the end of his night (5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, BB, 4 K). Chacín countered with a 1-2-3 inning of his own, striking out a pair in the process. During the bottom half, Tigers hitting coach Wally Joyner was ejected as was skipper Brad Ausmus, both for arguing balls and strikes like Victor Martínez.

Kyle Ryan came on in the 6th to relieve Fulmer, he recorded his own 1-2-3 frame. After Tyler Collins singled to left center to start the inning, J.D. Martinez was punched out looking and then he got the heave-ho from Mike Everitt, the fourth ejection on the night from the Tigers and it was the first career ejection for J.D..

The single by Collins was erased in the next at-bat after a hard-hit ball by Justin Upton turned into a 6-4-3 double play.

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Kyle Ryan was back out for a second inning of work in the 7th with Andrew Romine coming in to play right field for the ejected J.D. Martinez. After a double from Kaleb Cowart to lead off the inning followed by getting Calhoun to fly out, Ryan’s night was done and in came Alex Wilson. He plunked Mike Trout to put runners on the corners. And then Pujols flew out to Romine in right field. On the play, Trout was breaking for second and he ended up getting doubled up back at first to end the inning. Chacín for the Angels, meanwhile, was back out for a fourth inning of duty and he surrendered only a two-out walk in his scoreless inning. Overall, Detroit got just five base runners against the Angels reliever/starter.

Wilson came back out for the 8th and allowed a one-out single and a two-out double to put runners on second and third. However, he got the Angels catcher Carlos Pérez (who deserves credit for framing pitches well tonight to aid in the questionable strike calls) to pop up to end the 8th. In the home half, Cabrera and Collins singled with one out off new Angels reliever J.C. Ramirez. They advanced to second and third respectively after a passed ball, which proved to be huge. Romine then grounded out to first and allowed Cabrera to score, making it a 3-2 game. Unfortunately, Upton popped up to second to end the inning and strand Collins at third.

Bruce Rondón came on to pitch the 9th inning for the Tigers and tossed a scoreless frame, allowing just a two-out walk to Mike Trout. Angels closer Fernando Salas answered the bell in the home half and pitched a 1-2-3 inning to seal the victory for Los Angeles.



The same two teams wrap up their three-game weekend series at Comerica Park on Sunday. Taking the ball for Detroit is Aníbal Sánchez (7-12, 5.83 ERA), who has allowed just three ER in five of his last seven starts. He will oppose The Angels’ Tyler Skaggs (1-3, 5.70 ERA in six starts). He’s allowed at least four ER in each of his last four outings

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