Colon hit hard in loss to Tigers
Napoli's three-run shot brings Detroit within a run
DETROIT -- With a pitching staff leading the American League in team ERA, the Angels will take their chances with three homers, 13 hits and seven runs.But this was far from a normal night at Comerica Park. In the Motor City home of Thomas Hearns, this was Hearns and Marvelous Marvin Hagler on the diamond. Detroit's Tigers out-homered their guests by one, out-hit them by two and prevailed in an old-fashioned slugfest, 8-7, snapping the Angels' six-game winning streak in front of 28,105 fans. "One of those nights," the Angels' Casey Kotchman said, shrugging. One of those crazy old nights. The Angels' ninth-inning hopes for a dramatic comeback were dashed when Vladimir Guerrero bounced into a double play against Todd Jones, a closer he'd hammered in the past with a homer, two doubles and a single in six at-bats. This came with runners on first and third and none out, and when Gary Matthews Jr. flied to center, it was over. "We played to the last out," Kotchman said. "That's what you need to do -- play all 27 outs, not give up at-bats." The Angels were digging out all night long. It started with Bartolo Colon, 5-0 coming into the game, unable to get any sinking action on his fastball. That led to a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach as the Tigers collected four runs on five hits in the second inning and another run in the third on Carlos Guillen's homer. "What I've been doing is using my sinker," Colon said through translator Jose Mota. "Today it wasn't there. I tried every part of the plate, different sides of the mound, and it didn't work at all. Everything stayed flat." Down, 5-0, against Chad Durbin, the Angels got solo homers from Orlando Cabrera (his third and second in two nights) in the fourth and Shea Hillenbrand (his second) in the fifth. The first of two Magglio Ordonez homers in the bottom half of the fifth made it 6-3, and the Angels answered with Gary Matthews' single and Kotchman's double before Jason Grilli slammed the door on the sixth inning. Another Ordonez homer, his 12th of the season, came in the seventh against Hector Carrasco, who struck out Brandon Inge to leave the bases loaded. That seemed to energize the Angels, who came out swinging against Jose Mesa in the eighth. Matthews' third hit and a walk to Kotchman preceded a three-run blast by Mike Napoli, his second in two nights and fifth of the season. When Howie Kendrick -- in his first game back since breaking a bone in his left hand on April 17 -- lashed a triple to the deepest part of the park in right center, the Angels were a hit away from tying it. Chone Figgins, who has been stinging balls without a lot to show for it, went down swinging against southpaw Tim Byrdak. "Figgy's last 10 at-bats, he's squared the ball up from both sides," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Hopefully, he's going to be the spark to give us some offense. Chone is showing signs of coming out of it. Some of those balls are going to fall in." When Curtis Granderson, who'd singled home two runs during the four-run second, went deep to right in the eighth against Darren Oliver for his eighth homer, it proved to be meaningful insurance. The Angels once again bounced off the canvas in the ninth against closer Jones. Reggie Willits' infield single and steal, followed by Cabrera's third hit, put runners on the corners for Guerrero. But Jones worked inside to produce a tapper to Guillen at shortstop for the big double play. Guerrero is 5-for-20 (.250) with two RBIs in his past five games, but there are others swinging hot bats for Scioscia. Cabrera is hitting .436 during a season-high 13-game hitting streak. Napoli has hit .359 during a career-best 11-game hitting streak, and Kotchman has nine RBIs in his past 10 games, hitting safely in eight of them. Colon lasted only 4 1/3 innings, surrendering six earned runs on 10 hits and two walks, striking out two. It was the second time in seven outings that he gave up more than three runs, having yielded five in five innings at Kansas City. "My outing against Kansas City was also bad," Colon said. "We ended up scoring a lot of runs, and I won." Ordonez, his teammate in Chicago with the White Sox, was hitting only .233 when he unloaded against Bartolo in the fifth. "Everything was up," Scioscia said of Colon, never a good idea against a team such as the Tigers, leading the Major Leagues in total bases. "He battled, but that lineup will make you pay. "It was one of those nights he didn't have his normal stuff." One of those crazy nights when three homers, 13 hits and seven runs didn't add up to a victory.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.