Mark Trumbo scores on a Josh Hamilton single as Detroit's Bryan Holaday… (Paul Sancya / Associated…)
DETROIT — Torii Hunter is baffled as to how the Angels, picked by many to contend for a championship, can be nine games under .500 and 10 games out in the American League West in the last week of June.
"Nobody in this world predicted that," said Hunter, the Detroit Tigers right fielder and former Angels star. "I have no explanation."
But don't count the Angels out, Hunter said. If Toronto can reel off 11 consecutive victories to get back into the AL East race, so can the Angels.
BOX SCORE: Angels 14, Detroit 8
"They're still a dangerous team — they can definitely win 10, 12 in a row and catch the Rangers and A's," Hunter said. "Don't get it twisted. That's a heck of a ballclub over there. When all cylinders click, it's going to be ugly."
All cylinders were firing Tuesday night, and things got very ugly for the home team in Comerica Park.
The Angels pounded out 16 hits — none a home run — in a 14-8 victory over the AL Central-leading Tigers that they hope will spark some kind of run.
"We need to do everything right and we need to get lucky to get back into this race," pitcher C.J. Wilson said after the Angels ended a three-game losing streak.. "We're so far back right now, we're not even scoreboard-watching.
"We have to pull together and get the most out of ourselves, play at the highest possible level the rest of the way, for us to win."
A steady rain fell from the fifth inning on, and thunder and lightning filled the sky in the later innings Tuesday, but that hardly put a damper on the evening for the Angels, who improved to 4-0 against the Tigers and have outscored them 36-12 in those games.
Left fielder J.B. Shuck atoned for his costly 10th-inning error in Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh with three hits and a career-high four runs batted in, and Josh Hamilton had three hits, three runs and an RBI, the struggling right fielder's first three-hit game since April 22.
The Angels broke the game open with an eight-run, seven-hit fifth inning in which they were six for seven with runners in scoring position. They were 11 for 20 in those situations in the game, which lasted 4 hours and 3 minutes, and for the 15th time in franchise history, every Angels starter had a hit and scored a run.
Albert Pujols began the fifth-inning outburst with a one-out double and added a run-scoring single.
The Tigers also committed six errors, their most in a game since 1982.
"You feed off each other and build momentum," Hamilton said of the rally. "It's fun when guys go up and get the job done throughout the lineup, you run the bases, give the pitcher a little breathing room and make the other team stand on the field for a long time."
Wilson, who gave up five runs and seven hits, including Miguel Cabrera's two-run home run in the third, in five innings and threw 107 pitches, appreciated the cushion.
"It was one of my worst outings of the year," he said.
But Wilson did retire Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez with two on in the first and struck out Cabrera, who is bidding for his second straight Triple Crown, looking at a full-count pitch with two on in the fifth.
The left-hander punctuated the strikeout with a fist pump and an audible celebration that Cabrera took exception to, glaring at Wilson after the pitch.
"I was extremely excited the pitch was called a strike … and I was like, 'Wooh!'" Wilson said. "If I strike a guy out in a big situation like that, you're happy."
Cabrera was not available for comment.