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Figgins comes through in 10th, Angels hold on to beat Tigers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- The fireworks display outside Comerica Park on Saturday night wasn't the work of the Los Angeles Angels.

It just seemed that way.

Vladimir Guerrero hit a tying RBI single in the ninth inning as a jazz festival's show lit up the Detroit skyline and the Angels scored five runs in the 10th inning to beat the Detroit Tigers 7-2 Saturday night.

The Angels pulled within 7½ games of AL West-leading Oakland with the victory.

"That's a great win," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We've got a big challenge ahead of us, but if we can consistently do the things we did tonight, we're going to put up some wins."

Todd Jones (2-6) was charged with four runs, two earned, and four hits in 1 1/3 innings for the Tigers. He did not speak to the media after the game, preferring to leave before the night's second fireworks show -- this one at the stadium. He did leave a sign in his locker.

"I am not ducking the media. I wanted to beat the fireworks," the sign read. "I sucked tonight. I blew the game. It's all my fault. Thanks, T. Jones."

Chone Figgins' bases-loaded triple keyed the 10th-inning rally.

Juan Rivera started the inning by reaching base on a throwing error by Tigers shortstop Neifi Perez, who had entered the game in the 9th after Carlos Guillen pulled a hamstring running the bases. Darin Erstad sacrificed Rivera to second, and Jones intentionally walked Adam Kennedy.

Jeff Mathis then blooped a single to center to load the bases, and Figgins broke an 0-for-18 slump with a liner into the right-center field gap.

"Things haven't been going well for me lately, so I was happy to get another opportunity to get a hit tonight," he said. "I was just pleased I hit it far enough that I could run some bases."

Figgins was out at the plate on a botched suicide squeeze, but Zach Miner walked Maicer Izturis and Orlando Cabrera followed with a two-run homer.

Francisco Rodriguez (2-2) got the win with 1 2/3 innings of relief, extending his shutout streak to 23 outings.

The Tigers were one out away from winning in the ninth, but Izturis reached base on a throwing error by Guillen and moved to second on an infield single by Cabrera. Vladimir Guerrero then blooped a tying single off Jones as the fireworks started, ending his streak of 19 successful save opportunities.

The Tigers had runners on second and third with one out in the ninth but Rodriguez struck out Omar Infante and Ramon Santiago flew out to deep right.

Rivera broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the eighth but Marcus Thames drove in two runs in the bottom half with a base hit to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.

Justin Verlander got a no-decision despite pitching seven shutout innings for Detroit. Verlander, who threw a career-high 126 pitches, allowed four hits and four walks while striking out six.

"I'm never happy when the team loses, but that's the way baseball goes," Verlander said. "I kept us in it, and I'm pleased with that."

Angels starter Joe Saunders pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing one run and five hits. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

"I threw some strikes and got ahead of guys," he said. "That's the big thing for me."

The Angels loaded the bases with none out in the second, but Verlander got out of the jam. Howie Kendrick lined out, Kennedy grounded into a force at the plate and Mike Napoli popped out.

Los Angeles then left two runners on in both the sixth and seventh innings.

"We had opportunities, but Verlander reached back for an extra gear," Scioscia said. "Give him credit."

Meanwhile, the Tigers didn't get a runner into scoring position until the eighth-inning rally.

Notes

  • The start of the game was delayed 15 minutes by rain.
  • The Tigers recalled 1B Chris Shelton from Triple-A Toledo Saturday. Shelton had one of the best starts of any major league hitter, batting .326 with 10 homers in April, but slumped during the summer and was sent to Toledo on July 31.
  • Guerrero extended his hitting streak to a season-best 19 games.
  • Saunders matched the longest outing of his career -- he also pitched 7 1/3 innings in his major league debut on Aug. 16 last season.
  • Tigers manager Jim Leyland said that he didn't know the extent of Guillen's injury. "It's high up rather than down in the middle of the leg, which hopefully is a little bit encouraging. We'll just have to wait and see."
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jeff Mathis earns a pat on the head from Juan Rivera after scoring on Chone Figgins' triple.  (AP)
Jeff Mathis earns a pat on the head from Juan Rivera after scoring on Chone Figgins' triple. (AP)

Players of the Game
Anaheim

O. Cabrera
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Anaheim

V. Guerrero
AB 6
R 0
H 4
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, CF6013033
Maicer Izturis, 3B5200112
Orlando Cabrera, SS5222110
Vladimir Guerrero, RF6041000
Garret Anderson, DH5020103
Juan Rivera, LF4111102
Howie Kendrick, 1B4000013
    Darin Erstad, 1B0000000
Adam Kennedy, 2B3100215
Mike Napoli, C1000103
   a- Curtis Pride, PH0000100
    Jose Molina, C0000000
   b- Reggie Willits, PH1000000
    Jeff Mathis, C1110000
Totals4171178721 
a-walked for Napoli in the 7th
b-grounded out-bunting for Molina in the 9th
Batting
2B - Vladimir Guerrero (, Verlander)
3B - Chone Figgins (, T. Jones)
HR - Orlando Cabrera (, Miner)
SH - Darin Erstad ()
RBI - Chone Figgins 3 (), Orlando Cabrera 2 (), Vladimir Guerrero (), Juan Rivera ()
2-OUT RBI - Orlando Cabrera 2 (), Vladimir Guerrero ()
CS - Chone Figgins (, Home by Miner/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
PB - Jose Molina ()
Los Angeles Angels
Joe Saunders 7.1511050
Scot Shields (BS,) 1311220
Francisco Rodriguez (W,-) 1.2100040
IBB - Casey by Scot Shields
WP - Scot Shields (), Francisco Rodriguez ()
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 97-57, Scot Shields 27-13, Francisco Rodriguez 30-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 9-7, Scot Shields 1-0
Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 26, Scot Shields 8, Francisco Rodriguez 6
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF5120020
Craig Monroe, LF4010111
Marcus Thames, DH5012012
Magglio Ordonez, RF5010024
Carlos Guillen, SS4020011
    Neifi Perez, PR-SS0000000
Ivan Rodriguez, C4000012
Sean Casey, 1B3000111
Omar Infante, 2B4120013
Brandon Inge, 3B2000001
   a- Dmitri Young, PH1000011
    Ramon Santiago, 3B1000002
Totals3829221118 
a-struck out for Inge in the 8th
Batting
2B - Carlos Guillen (, Shields)
RBI - Marcus Thames 2 ()
2-OUT RBI - Marcus Thames 2 ()
CS - Carlos Guillen (, 2nd base by Saunders/Napoli)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Carlos Guillen (, ), Neifi Perez (, )
Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander 7400460
Fernando Rodney 1111210
Todd Jones (BS,; L,-) 1.1442100
Zach Miner 0.2222101
IBB - G. Anderson by Fernando Rodney, Kennedy by Todd Jones
WP - Justin Verlander ()
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 126-75, Fernando Rodney 22-11, Todd Jones 32-20, Zach Miner 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 4-11, Fernando Rodney 1-1, Todd Jones 4-2, Zach Miner 1-0
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 29, Fernando Rodney 6, Todd Jones 11, Zach Miner 4
Game Information
Attendance - 37826
Game Time - 3:23
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Bruce Dreckman, Third Base - Larry Poncino