Despite a quiet offensive showing, the Tigers found a way to beat the Angels in the middle game of the series, 4-0, on Wednesday night.
Not many thought a Buck Farmer and Alex Meyer would account for one of the best pitchers’ duels on the year, but both were solid all day long.
Farmer went 6 2/3 innings for the Tigers (29-29), allowing just three hits, no runs and striking out five. His 13 scoreless innings to start the season is the longest by any Tigers pitcher this year.
On the other side, Meyer went six full innings for the Angels (30-32), allowing three hits and an unearned run, striking out nine. He went 6 1/3 innings in the May 14 matchup with the Tigers, allowing one run in that contest as well.
The only run for the Tigers until the eighth came on a double play with no outs and the bases loaded by Victor Martinez in the third. He was not awarded an RBI.
Martinez finished 2-for-4, but it was Justin Upton’s three-run homer in the eighth that put the game away for good. He went 2-for-4 as well.
Michael Fulmer (6-3, 3.00 ERA) will take the mound for the Tigers in the series finale Thursday. J.C. Ramirez (5-4, 4.11) will go for the Angels.
Top 9th: Tigers 4, Angels 0
Justin Wilson entered the game in the ninth in a non-save situation.
Andrelton Simmons drew a full-count walk. Kole Calhoun grounded into a double play, bringing Albert Pujols to the plate as the Angels' final hope. He popped up to first base to end the game.
Bottom 8th: Tigers 4, Angels 0
Yusmeiro Petit stayed in the game for the Angels.
Miguel Cabrera grounded out softly to short, but Victor Martinez followed him up with a one-out single to left.
J.D. Martinez also singled to left with one out, moving Victor up to second. He was then replaced at second by pinch-runner Dixon Machado. Justin Upton then smacked a crucial three-run homer over the left field wall.
Petit was then replaced by Brooks Pounders with one out.
Nick Castellanos kept the offense rolling with a single over the shortstop's head. Alex Presley flew out to left field and Jose Iglesias struck out swinging on a poor pitch at his eyes.
Top 8th: Tigers 1, Angels 0
Alex Wilson remained in the game to start the eighth.
Ben Revere popped out to Jose Iglesias for the first out. Cliff Pennington flew out to left field. Eric Young Jr. flew out to shallow center.
Bottom 7th: Tigers 1, Angels 0
Alex Meyer, too, was replaced in the seventh, but he didn't face a batter. Yusmeiro Petit came in to relieve Meyer.
Jose Iglesias grounded out to short, Ian Kinsler struck out swinging and Alex Avila grounded out sharply to first for the three outs, respectively.
Top 7th: Tigers 1, Angels 0
Buck Farmer looked to go seven full innings.
An Albert Pujols single to left to start the inning put those hopes in jeopardy. However, Yunel Escobar grounded into a double play on the next pitch. Luis Valbuena walked on five pitches to end Farmer's night.
Alex Wilson came in to relieve Farmer, who was greeted with a standing ovation while exiting the field.
Martin Maldonado promptly grounded out to second to end the minor threat.
Bottom 6th: Tigers 1, Angels 0
The Tigers got the inning started with their first hit since the first.
Victor Martinez lined a hard single to the right field wall. Justin Upton hit a one-out single to left to move a runner into scoring position. They would advance no further.
J.D. Martinez struck out for the third time for the first out. Nick Castellanos struck out looking on a controversial call for the second out. Alex Presley lined out to center for the final out.
Top 6th: Tigers 1, Angels 0
Once again, Buck Farmer retired the Angels 1-2-3.
Eric Young Jr. flew out to left field on a 3-2 count. Andrelton Simmons was then robbed of a line drive single to left thanks to a leaping catch by Nick Castellanos at third. Kole Calhoun then struck out swinging.
Bottom 5th: Tigers 1, Angels 0
Ian Kinsler worked Alex Meyer for a one-out walk after he'd been on fire. He moved over to second on a wild pitch in the next at-bat. Alex Avila then struck out swinging. Miguel Cabrera then stranded Kinsler at second with a groundout to third.
Jose Iglesias grounded out weakly to second for the first out.
Top 5th: Tigers 1, Angels 0
Seven straight batters were retired by Buck Farmer through five.
Martin Maldonado lined out softly to Ian Kinsler for the first out. Ben Revere flew out to center as did Cliff Pennington for the final two outs.
Bottom 4th: Tigers 1, Angels 0
The Tigers went quickly, and quietly, in the fourth.
For the second time in the game, Justin Upton struck out but this time it was looking. Nick Castellanos followed that up with a swinging strikeout. Alex Presley grounded out to first to end the inning.
Top 4th: Tigers 1, Angels 0
Buck Farmer's cruise control was in full effect through the fourth.
A popup to short center by Albert Pujols that sent Alex Presley sprinting toward the infield was good for the first out. Yunel Escobar lined out to left field and then Luis Valbuena struck out to end the top of the fourth.
Bottom 3rd: Tigers 1, Angels 0
A scary moment started the home half of the third as Ian Kinsler was plunked on the helmet with a wild Alex Meyer pitch, but would remain in the game.
Alex Avila drew a walk on four pitches to put runners at first and second. Miguel Cabrera then hit a grounder to third that looked like a perfect double play ball, but Yunel Escobar mishandled it to load the bases with no outs.
Victor Martinez grounded into a double play, but Kinsler crossed the plate for the game's first run. No RBI was credited on the play. J.D. Martinez then struck out to end the inning.
Top 3rd: Tigers 0, Angels 0
Cliff Pennington didn't waste any time, popping the second pitch he saw into foul territory on the third base side for the first out. Eric Young Jr. then went down looking for strike three.
Andrelton Simmons nearly took Buck Farmer's head off with a line drive up the middle for a single. Kole Calhoun ended the top half of the inning with a swinging strike three.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers 0, Angels 0
The Tigers couldn't crack the scoreboard on Alex Meyer again.
Striking out looking to start the home half of the second was Justin Upton. Nick Castellanos grounded out to second.
Alex Presley worked a two-out walk, but Jose Iglesias hit a lazy fly ball to left for the third out.
Top 2nd: Tigers 0, Angels 0
For the second straight inning, Buck Farmer looked sharp.
Martin Maldonado ended the far-too-early no-hit bid with a two-out single. He would go no further.
Yunel Escobar grounded out to short for the first out, Luis Valbuena then struck out looking and Ben Revere popped out to short left field.
Bottom 1st: Tigers 0, Angels 0
Alex Meyer took the mound, getting the start for the Angels. The Tigers made him throw 23 first-inning pitches, but didn't cross the plate.
Ian Kinsler hit a soft line drive to second base in the leadoff slot. Alex Avila remained hot as he notched a single through the left side of the infield into left field. After falling behind 0-2, Miguel Cabrera worked a full count before walking.
Victor Martinez was caught looking for strike three for the second out. J.D. Martinez then struck out swinging.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Angels 0
Buck Farmer took the mound after a solid season debut on May 27.
Andrelton Simmons led the game off with a fly out to left field. Kole Calhoun grounded into the shift for the second out. Albert Pujols then grounded to short to end the top of the first.
Buck Farmer has a stellar season debut. The hope for the Tigers is he can pull off something similar for an encore, if the Tigers are to salvage a series victory against the Angels.
The right-hander will take the mound Tuesday night as the Tigers take on the Angels at Comerica Park. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.
It'll be Farmer's second start of the season, after fanning 11 in 6.1 scoreless innings of a spot start May 27, a 4-3 victory over the White Sox. He'll try to help the Tigers even the series, after the Angels won Tuesday night, 5-3.
The Tigers, meanwhile, will face Alex Meyer (2-2, 4.93 ERA), whose best start of the season came against Detroit, when he struck out 7 in 6.1 innings, allowing just one run in a 4-1 victory.
ANGELS AT TIGERS
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Comerica Park, Detroit
TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit
Records: The Tigers are 28-29, third place in the American League Central, 2.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins. The Angels are 30-31, second place in the AL West, 13 games behind the Houston Astros.
1. Andrelton Simmons, SS
2. Kole Calhoun, RF
3. Albert Pujols, DH
4. Yunel Escobar, 3B
5. Luis Valbuena, 1B
6. Martin Maldonado, C
7. Ben Revere, LF
8. Cliff Pennington, 2B
9. Eric Young Jr., CF
SP: Alex Meyer, RHP
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Alex Avila, C
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. J.D. Martinez, RF
6. Justin Upton, LF
7. Nick Castellanos, 3B
8. Alex Presley, CF
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
SP: Buck Farmer, RHP