One day after the Angels pounded the Detroit pitching staff for 13 hits (10 for extra-bases) and 11 runs, Scherzer and company slammed on the brakes and surrendered just two runs on solo shots. The former Cy Young Award winner picked up his first win of the season by holding a hot Angels lineup to just one run on three hits in seven strong innings.
Detroit has scuffled early in 2014 after a 4-0 start, losing six of its last 10. A five-game winning streak has the young Kansas City Royals just percentage points behind the AL Central favorites, who look to stay on top with a win in the rubber match against the Angels on Sunday afternoon.
TV: 1:08 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), FSN Detroit
This Easter game will put Rick Porcello against new Angel Hector Santiago. Detroit is familiar with the former White Sox starter, who made three starts against the Tigers last year and 10 runs (six earned) in 18 innings. Santiago was 0-2 against Detroit in 2013, his only year as a starter. He previously faced Detroit seven times as a reliever in 2012.
Santiago had a rough start with his new club, giving up a combined eight runs in his first two starts, both losses. He pitched well in his last start on Monday against Oakland, throwing seven one-run innings with the only blemish coming in the form of a Yoenis Cespedes homerun in the 4th inning.
The current Tigers roster as a whole hits just .217 lifetime off of Santiago with three homeruns and 14 strikeouts.
His opponent Porcello is coming off of a rough outing in which the San Diego Padres tagged him for 10 hits and five runs. The loss inflated the 25-year-old's ERA to 4.15 on the season, with his only other start against the Orioles resulting in a victory.
Porcello owns a daunting history against the Angels. In 2013 he allowed a total of 16 earned runs in just five innings pitched against the Halos. In fact, the first of those two starts came exactly one year ago, and Porcello surrendered nine runs and failed to get out of the first inning.
Mike Trout is relieved to see Porcello take the mound for Detroit, as Scherzer and closer Joe Nathan combined to award the young slugger with his first career golden sombrero (four strikeouts in one game) Saturday afternoon. During Porcello's two starts against the Angels last season, Trout picked up four hits, six RBI and four three runs.