Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder acknowledges the fans after hitting… (Leon Halip / Getty Images )
DETROIT — Ervin Santana kept his demons hidden through five innings. Then Detroit Tigers slugger Prince Fielder showed up waving a bat and all you-know-what broke loose again.
For the 10th time this season, Santana surrendered multiple home runs in a game — this time it was back-to-back blasts by Fielder and Delmon Young in the sixth inning — and the Tigers beat the Angels, 5-2, at Comerica Park.
Tigers starter Max Scherzer (14-6) kept the Angels hitless from the third through seventh innings, striking out nine in his 120-pitch outing to gain the victory.
Santana (7-11) kept pace by retiring eight of nine Tigers before walking Andy Dirks to open the sixth.
On an 0-1 pitch, Fielder slammed the ball about 20 rows deep into the right-field stands — his 23rd homer of the season.
Santana’s next pitch was then driven by Young over the fence in left-center field, a blow that spoiled the Angels’ hopes of both winning the series against one of four teams they trail for a wild-card spot and returning home with a 5-1 road trip.
The Angels (66-62) scored only seven runs in Detroit (69-58), with the offense missing an injured Albert Pujols (stiff right calf) while Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo combined to go two for 24 with 12 strikeouts in the three-game series.
Trout quickly avoided the possibility of his first hitless three-game stretch, snapping an zero-for-nine trip to Comerica with a leadoff single to third base in the first inning.
Maicer Izturis followed with a single, and Trout scored when Torii Hunter grounded into a double play.
Left fielder Vernon Wells preserved the early lead for Santana by leaping above the left-field wall to rob Omar Infante of a home run in the first inning.
Santana pushed Infante off the plate with a 92-mph fastball on a 1-2 pitch in the third, but wound up throwing two more balls to walk him. That brought up Dirks, who lined a triple to the wall in right-center field, tying the score.
Scherzer was in the midst of retiring 13 consecutive batters into the seventh. Throwing a fastball clocked as fast as 99 mph, Scherzer racked up his strikeouts through six innings.
When Angels cleanup hitter Kendrys Morales benefited from a foul fly that fell between two Tigers on the third-base side, Scherzer merely uncorked a 98-mph fastball to strike him out swinging.
Scherzer also shut down the Angels in a July 19 start in Detroit, and has now struck out a combined 18 in 14 innings with just seven hits and two runs allowed.