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Angels give it up to Tigers

Garland struggles again and bullpen isn't any better as Detroit comes back to win, 9-6.

September 04, 2008|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

DETROIT -- Jon Garland has reviewed tapes of shutouts and found things he wasn't happy with, so you know his latest mediocre outing, even though it came at the hands of one of baseball's better-hitting teams, wasn't going to sit well with the Angels right-hander.

The Detroit Tigers roughed up Garland for five runs and seven hits in six innings and peppered the Angels bullpen for a pair of runs in the seventh and eighth innings en route to a 9-6 come-from-behind victory in Comerica Park on Wednesday night.

The Angels sliced the Tigers' lead to 2-1 in the fourth; Garland gave up a run in the bottom of the fourth. The Angels scored four in the fifth for a 5-3 lead; Garland gave up two in the bottom of the fifth, allowing Detroit to tie the game.

"Absolutely terrible," said Garland, who has a 7.03 earned-run average in his last four starts. "I put the team in a hole to start. We get one run, I give it right back. They get me four, I give up two back."

The bullpen wasn't any better.

The Angels snapped a 5-5 tie in the seventh when Chone Figgins walked, Garret Anderson singled, and Mark Teixeira, who hit a solo home run in the fourth and a run-scoring single in the fifth, hit an RBI single.

Jose Arredondo, who entered with a 1.12 ERA and had allowed six earned runs in 48 1/3 innings this season, fell behind the first three batters in the bottom of the seventh.

Brandon Inge led off with an infield single, and Curtis Granderson hit an RBI triple to left-center. Placido Polanco's single to left drove in the go-ahead run.

Right-hander Justin Speier then gave up a two-run homer by Mike Hessman, in the eighth, giving the Tigers some breathing room. Speier's ERA in what has been a one-step-forward, two-steps-back kind of season: 5.12.

The Angels, who had 15 hits, loaded the bases with one out in the ninth when Teixeira reached on a fielder's choice, Vladimir Guerrero hit his 400th career double and Torii Hunter walked.

But Kendry Morales popped to third, and Detroit closer Fernando Rodney, after falling behind Mike Napoli, 3-1, pumped two 94-mph fastballs by the Angels catcher, who struck out to end the game.

Arredondo (7-2) suffered the loss and his sixth blown save. The Angels bullpen is considered one of the best in baseball, a unit that is anchored by major league saves leader Francisco Rodriguez.

But the Angels now have 19 blown saves, tied for fifth most in the American League. Texas leads the league with 26 blown saves.

"That's very deceiving," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "Sometimes you give up a run in the sixth or seventh, and it counts as a blown save. We've played a lot of close games, and these guys are getting a lot of action.

"The vast majority of the time, these guys have gotten the job done."

Garland said his arm feels better now than it did at the beginning of the season, but he has struggled in the last month, often putting the Angels in early holes.

"I've got to keep attacking," Garland said. "I can't change the way I pitch."

The start of the game was delayed one hour 14 minutes by rain, and Garland, who gave up two runs in the first, caused two more delays in the second when the skin on the side of his thumb nail broke open and began bleeding.

Garland remained in the game, but how much did the cut affect his performance?

"Not one bit," he said. "That's happened numerous times in my career, and it doesn't bother me."

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mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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