ANAHEIM -- Sunday's game began and ended just like Saturday's for Detroit, with a Mike Trout leadoff homer and a Tigers loss.
While the rest of the game may have played out differently than the night before, the Angels used another first-inning blast by Trout and another lackluster offensive showing by the Tigers to win, 3-2, for the series sweep at Angel Stadium.
The Tigers led off both the eighth and ninth innings with a walk, but came away with nothing to show for it as the Angels' bullpen regrouped both times.
After being swept, the Tigers remain two games in back of the White Sox, who lost in extra innings on Sunday, in the American League Central. The two teams square off in a four-game series that starts Monday, and Detroit comes in having lost five of six after sweeping Chicago just a week ago.
"You've got to put this one behind you, and we've got to get ready for the White Sox tomorrow," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We can't do anything about this one. But certainly we had two of the games where we had our shot, and that's what happens when you don't get a big hit."
Following Trout's leadoff shot, the Angels added another two runs in the second on a homer by Alberto Callaspo, who had delivered a walk-off hit on Friday.
Anibal Sanchez took the loss despite throwing seven solid innings, which included the two homers by the Halos. He struck out six and shut out the Angels the rest of his outing after Callaspo's second-inning homer.
"I thought that was the best Sanchez had been," Leyland said. "I thought he threw the ball better today than I've seen him throw it ever since he's been here. But it was the same old story. We had a couple little shots there, but we just couldn't get the big hit. That pretty much sums it up."
Much like the first two nights, the Angels' fielding kept the Tigers from breaking out a big inning.
"I don't think I've ever remembered seeing an outfield defense play better than this one did in this series in all my years," Leyland said. "We couldn't get one to drop."
A solo home run by Andy Dirks gave the Tigers their first run of the game in the fourth, but the offense didn't show much pop otherwise.
Detroit picked up another run on an RBI double by Brennan Boesch that scored Delmon Young in the seventh.
The Tigers had a chance late but couldn't plate a runner from second base after Alex Avila led off the eighth inning with a walk and pinch-runner Quintin Berry moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Omar Infante. However, Peter Bourjos ran down a fly ball by Austin Jackson in center, and Ernesto Frieri came in to strike out Dirks and end the threat.
Miguel Cabrera drew a walk to lead off the ninth, but Frieri buckled down and closed out the game.
"We lost three ball games, but we centered some balls pretty good this series. We hit some balls pretty good to the gaps, and everywhere we hit it they were there, to their credit," Leyland said. "It wasn't like our bats were anemic. I thought we actually swung the bats pretty good. We didn't have much to show for it because they made every possible play they could."
Zack Greinke struck out seven over seven innings and allowed just the two runs on five hits to round off a weekend of great starting pitching for the Angels.
Cabrera and Prince Fielder combined to go 3-for-18 in the series. Cabrera entered the series as Trout's biggest competitor for the AL MVP award, but it was the 21-year-old who stepped up this series, and not the seven-time All-Star.
"We pitched well all series," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "And that offense over there is more than Miguel Cabrera. He's obviously a huge part of it, but they've got some guys that can run, they have, obviously, Prince Fielder behind him. We did a great job on the mound against a good offensive club."
"We've got move on," said center fielder Jackson, who robbed Mark Trumbo of a two-run homer in the second. "We're definitely a little frustrated, but at the same time we are looking forward to playing better baseball over in Chicago."
Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.