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L.A. Angels (85-54) «1140000107140
Detroit (67-73)000000010170

Hunter backs Santana's gem as Angels move closer to AL West title

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- The Los Angeles Angels showed the Detroit Tigers what playoff teams look like.

Torii Hunter homered to back Ervin Santana, and the Angels beat the Tigers 7-1 Thursday to cut their magic number to six for clinching their fourth AL West title in five seasons.

Santana (15-5) struck out eight in 7 1/3 innings, allowing one run and six hits.

"He's as consistent as any pitcher I've seen," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's approaching 30 starts, and he's throwing as well as he did in start five or six."

Santana, who won his first six decisions this year, is 4-0 in seven starts since July 27.

"It's about working hard," he said. "You just have to keep it up and keep throwing."

Detroit (67-73), which hasn't been at .500 since Aug. 2, advanced just two runners past first base before Curtis Granderson's homer in the eighth.

Mark Teixeira and Juan Rivera each drove in a pair of runs for the Angels, who broke open the game with a four-run third inning off Kenny Rogers (9-13). Gary Matthews Jr. hit safely in his first four at-bats, his first four-hit game since June 9.

Rogers (9-13) was removed after he gave up four straight singles starting the third inning, his shortest start since he gave up seven runs and got just two outs at Cleveland on July 25, 2006. The 43-year-old left-hander, who allowed six runs and eight hits in two innings, has lost three straight starts and seven of eight.

"I'm not tired. I feel fine," he said. "I had no reason for failing. I went out there and didn't get it done. That's the only way to look at it. Everything they hit went for a double or single or whatever. I just couldn't stem the tide."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland thought Rogers is fighting some nagging pain, but didn't think the pitcher would admit it.

"He won't make excuses. He's a professional," Leyland said.

Run-scoring singles by Teixeira in the first and Rivera in the second built the Angels' early lead. Robb Quinlan and Teixeira hit run-scoring singles in the third, chasing Rogers, and Vladimir Guerrero and Rivera singled in runs off Aquilino Lopez.

Hunter homered in the eighth off Nate Robertson, reaching 20 homers for the third consecutive season and seventh time in eight years. The drive landed an estimated 435 feet away in the upper hedgerow at Comerica Park.

"That's the longest ball I've ever hit here," said Hunter, who made frequent stops in Detroit during his first seven full seasons in the majors with Minnesota.

Notes

  • Teixeira tumbled over the tarp after making a catch in foul territory in the second but remained in the game. He said he had a slight headache, but no physical pain.
  • Detroit's Magglio Ordonez, the designated hitter for just the ninth time this season, extended his hitting streak to nine games.
  • Dusty Ryan made his major league debut when he replaced Tigers C Brandon Inge in the ninth.
 
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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Ervin Santana allows a run and K's eight over 7 1/3 innings to help L.A. cut its magic number to six.  (AP)
Ervin Santana allows a run and K's eight over 7 1/3 innings to help L.A. cut its magic number to six. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

C. Granderson
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Anaheim

M. Teixeira
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Gary Matthews Jr., RF5240000 .236
Robb Quinlan, 3B4121002 .279
Mark Teixeira, 1B4122003 .307
Vladimir Guerrero, DH4011011 .294
Torii Hunter, CF4221012 .283
Juan Rivera, LF4022000 .240
    Reggie Willits, LF0000000 .176
Brandon Wood, SS4000023 .167
Jeff Mathis, C4000011 .195
Sean Rodriguez, 2B4110020 .192
Totals37714707  
Batting
2B - Gary Matthews Jr. 2 (13, Rogers, Lopez), Mark Teixeira (32, Rogers), Juan Rivera (9, Rogers)
HR - Torii Hunter (20, Robertson)
RBI - Robb Quinlan (7), Mark Teixeira 2 (108), Vladimir Guerrero (79), Torii Hunter (72), Juan Rivera 2 (38)
CS - Juan Rivera (1, 2nd base by Lopez/Inge)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Quinlan-S. Rodriguez-Teixeira
Los Angeles Angels
Ervin Santana (W,15-5) 7.1611181 3.23
Scot Shields 0.2000110 2.72
Justin Speier 1100120 5.03
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 112-76, Scot Shields 14-8, Justin Speier 28-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 6-7
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 28, Scot Shields 3, Justin Speier 5
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4111021 .305
Placido Polanco, 2B4020000 .311
Magglio Ordonez, DH3010111 .315
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4010012 .290
Matt Joyce, RF3000123 .260
Edgar Renteria, SS4010023 .268
Marcus Thames, LF3000112 .234
Mike Hessman, 3B4010011 .250
Brandon Inge, C3000001 .218
    Dusty Ryan, C1000012 .000
Totals33171311  
Batting
2B - Edgar Renteria (17, Santana), Mike Hessman (1, Speier)
HR - Curtis Granderson (17, Santana)
RBI - Curtis Granderson (54)
SB - Brandon Inge (3, 2nd base off Santana/Mathis)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Rogers-Hessman, Inge-Renteria, Inge-Polanco, Renteria-Polanco-Cabrera
PB - Brandon Inge (9)
Detroit Tigers
Kenny Rogers (L,9-13) 2866000 5.49
Aquilino Lopez 4400050 3.69
Nate Robertson 3211021 6.30
Pitches-Strikes - Kenny Rogers 39-28, Aquilino Lopez 57-39, Nate Robertson 31-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aquilino Lopez 1-5, Nate Robertson 4-2
Batters Faced - Kenny Rogers 12, Aquilino Lopez 15, Nate Robertson 10
Game Information
Attendance - 37890
Game Time - 2:33
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Chris Guccione