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Michael Kohn's two big strikeouts quell Tigers threat in Angels' win

Michael Kohn comes on to face Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera with two on in the eighth inning. He strikes both of them out and the Angels go on to win, 3-1, in the 10th.

June 27, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna

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DETROIT — Angels right-hander Michael Kohn entered Thursday's game in the eighth inning with two on, one out, the score tied and Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera due up, a situation few relievers would relish.

"Torii is as clutch as they come, and Cabrera is the best hitter in the league," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "You have to make pitches without much margin for error."

Kohn did, striking out Hunter with a 95-mph fastball and Cabrera with a 94-mph fastball, and the Angels won, 3-1, in 10 innings.

BOX SCORE: Angels 3, Detroit 1 (10 inn.)

"That's what relievers are there for, to come in with runners on," Kohn said. "We have to minimize damage as much as we can."

Kohn, who missed all of 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, has emerged as a bullpen force, going 1-0 with a 1.96 earned-run average in 27 games.

"Any time you can come out with zeros, your confidence builds," Kohn said. "Knock on wood, it's been good."

Cooling trend

Struggling cleanup batter Mark Trumbo, whose average has slipped from .270 to .248 in the last two weeks, did not start Thursday but entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth.

Trumbo leads the team with 17 home runs and ranks second with 50 runs batted in, but he's hitting .128 (six for 47) with two homers and five RBIs in 12 games since June 15 and .045 (one for 22) in his last six games.

"I don't know if it's a timing issue, but he doesn't look as comfortable in the batter's box as he did before," Scioscia said. "We need him to get back on board, and he will. He's having a good year; he's been productive. He's just hit a little bit of a dry spell."

Hey Bud

The Angels missed facing Detroit ace Justin Verlander and undefeated right-hander Max Scherzer (11-0) this season, a big reason they went 6-0 against the Tigers.

They won't be as fortunate this weekend in Houston. Starting for the Astros Friday night will be Bud Norris, who is 3-0 with an 0.43 earned-run average in three starts against the Angels and is the primary reason the Angels are 3-7 against last-place Houston. The right-hander is 2-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 13 starts against other teams.

"I don't know why he's so tough on us," Angels slugger Albert Pujols said. "We've had some good at-bats against him, but whenever he's in trouble he makes a good pitch to get out of the jam."

Hanson out

An MRI test confirmed pitcher Tommy Hanson has a strained right forearm. Hanson was scratched from Wednesday night's start, placed on the disabled list Thursday and will not throw for at least a week.

Hanson, who is 4-2 with a 5.10 ERA, could be out until the All-Star break. He was replaced on the roster by left-hander Michael Roth, who was recalled from double-A Arkansas.

That's swell

Peter Bourjos did not start for the third straight game, but the center fielder said the swelling in his bruised left thumb has gone down considerably, and he hopes to play this weekend.

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