Alex Meyer shuts down Detroit Tigers in 4-1 Los Angeles Angels victory
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Mike Scioscia called Alex Meyer’s shot.
The Los Angeles Angels manager said he thought Meyer, the 27-year-old rookie right-hander, was on the verge of finally putting all his talents together after his last start, a win at Oakland that on the surface didn’t look like a harbinger of success.
But it was. Meyer had the best start of his career Sunday, allowing Detroit just three hits in 6 1/3 innings as the Los Angeles Angels gained a split of their four-game series with the Tigers, winning 4-1 at Angel Stadium.
Meyer (2-1), making just his 10th career start, allowed hits to the first two Tigers for an early run, then faced 19 Tigers without a hit until Victor Martinez doubled with one out in the seventh.
It was the longest start of his career, and his seven strikeouts tied a career high set in his previous start. He walked two, the fewest in his four starts this season.
“Today he matched his rhythm and command with his arm,” Scioscia said, “especially after the first inning. To go through that lineup the way did was great. He was on top of the count all day. He was everything you want to see in the game plan.”
Meyer was happy to finally have a breakthrough performance, but he said he does not want to get comfortable after one start. “It’s a stepping-stone process,” he said. “I don’t want anyone to wonder each start if I can be good or bad.
“I believed I couldn’t call myself a starter until I started pitching deep into games. You’re not a starter if you only go three innings. If felt good to get past the sixth, and I want to build on this.”
Meyer got help from his defense and a burst of power on offense. Mike Trout hit a home run in the first, his 11th, and Danny Espinosa a solo shot in the fourth to give Meyer a 2-1 lead.
Those were the Angels’ only two hits against Justin Verlander (3-3) through six innings. But the Angels knocked him out on the seventh, with Juan Graterol, Ben Revere and Andrelton Simmons hitting consecutive singles for a run and 3-1 lead. Trout hit a sacrifice fly off reliever Shawn Greene to make it 4-1.
Verlander was charged with four runs on five hits and five walks in six-plus innings. He struck out seven.
“Two solo home runs usually aren’t going to beat you,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “But Meyer threw well and hard, with a 95-to-98 (mph) fastball and did a nice job pitching up in the zone.
“I thought we had a good start with the first two hits but we didn’t show much intensity the rest of the day.”
Los Angeles’ Blake Parker got the final two outs of the seventh, striking outJustin Upton and getting J.D. Martinez to fly out to deep center. David Hernandez worked a scoreless eighth, helped by a double play, and Bud Norris pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save.
Trout came into the game with one career hit against Verlander, a home run, in 15 at-bats. It was the third consecutive game in which Trout homered, tying his career high previously done twice. Of his 42 hits this season, 22 have gone for extra base.
Trout also walked and was hit by a pitch, and he had a steal after each. The two steals give him 150 in his career. He also has 179 career home runs, making him one of two players to have 150 steals and 175 home runs by their age 26 season. Alex Rodriguez is the other.
Each team scored a run in the first. Ian Kinsler greeted Meyer with a ground-rule double to left and Nicholas Castellanos followed with a single to center for a 1-0 Tigers lead. Trout’s home run tied it in the bottom half.
Meyer settled down after the two leadoff hits, walking a batter and hitting another through six innings.
NOTES: Angels 3B Yunel Escobar was placed on the 10-day disabled list after suffering a Grade 1 strain of his left hamstring while running Saturday night. He will likely be sidelined for 2-to-4 weeks. … The Angels activated 1B C.J. Cron (foot) from the disabled list, and he started at first base. He missed 14 games. INF/OF Jefry Marte (.179 average, .253 on-base percentage) was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake, but he was still in Anaheim Sunday and is likely to be recalled to replace Escobar on the roster … Detroit LF Justin Upton had a six-game hitting streak snapped. He had three home runs during the streak. Detroit DH Victor Martinez extended his hitting streak to eight games … Angels CF Cameron Maybin had three steals Sunday, giving him nine of the season. It was the second time in his career he had three steals in a game. The Angels had five steals on the day … Angels 2B Danny Espinosa’s home run was his first since April 13 and just his second RBI since that date well. He snapped an 0-for-36 slump Saturday night.
May 15, 201712:52 pm