The Angels will need resilience to find a way to make the playoffs two games out of a wild-card spot with 24 to go in a multi-team chase.
Friday, they showed some.
Standing up to American League strikeouts leader Max Scherzer and staring at a tight two-out, two-strikes at-bat in the bottom of the ninth inning, pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo slapped a winning single through the third base-shortstop hole in a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
First baseman Kendrys Morales, who had a one-out single in the ninth, said the victory was "a tribute to the way we're playing -- relaxed, not preoccupied with the scoreboard. Just playing ball."
Speedy pinch-runner Peter Bourjos was inserted for Morales, and Erick Aybar reached on an infield single.
Angels Manager Mike Scioscia then put in .250-batting switch-hitter Callaspo for slumping Mark Trumbo, who has 30 home runs.
"Tough decision," Scioscia said. Reliever Octavio "Dotel's tough on right-handers, and we know 'Bert's going to put the ball in play."
It was the Angels' 13th win in their past 16 games.
"It shows we've put everything behind us," catcher Chris Iannetta said. "A lot of people were saying we haven't met expectations, but nobody's harder on this team than the guys in here. This game -- the last couple of weeks -- it's us executing better on the mound, on defense and having better at-bats. It's another win."
Angels pitcher Ervin Santana produced his sixth quality start in seven games, striking out a season-high 10 batters with four hits and a walk allowed in 62/3 innings.
The Angels staked Santana to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, when Mike Trout led off with a double and scored on Torii Hunter's single. Hunter scored after a Kendrys Morales double and Howie Kendrick groundout off Scherzer.
Santana -- defeated by the Tigers and Scherzer on Aug. 26 thanks to back-to-back homers -- surrendered the lead by giving up consecutive leadoff homers to Prince Fielder and Alex Avila in the second and third innings.
Fielder hit a similar shot off Santana 12 days earlier in Comerica Park, a deep drive to right field. Friday's was Fielder's 25th homer of the season. Avila hit his eighth, to right-center, on the first pitch of the third.
It was the 11th time in 27 starts that Santana has given up multiple home runs.
Scherzer, who struck out nine Angels in both his July 19 and Aug. 26 victories, passed teammate Justin Verlander for the American League lead in the category with nine again in an eight-inning effort without a walk.
The right-hander struck out five consecutive Angels at one point and retired 15 of 16 before Morales hit his first triple since 2009 with two outs in the sixth.
Santana righted himself with strikeouts, too, sending American League runs-batted-in leader Miguel Cabrera, Fielder and Delmon Young down swinging in order in the fourth. Santana struck out Cabrera all three times he faced him.
"All the credit goes to Ervin Santana; he defined how our pitching has been lately," Morales said.