MLB

Tigers-Angels Preview

Despite their current struggles, one rule nearly always holds true for the Detroit Tigers.

They win with David Price on the mound.

Looking to avoid their first sweep of the season, the Tigers again turn to the slump-busting Price on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Angels.

Detroit (28-23) has won Price's last six starts and nine of 10 this season, losing only when the left-hander allowed eight runs in 2 1-3 innings on April 22. Price (4-1, 2.97 ERA) has posted a 1.96 ERA in those nine wins and has notched a quality start in five of his last six outings.

Price pitched seven scoreless innings Tuesday in a 1-0 win over Oakland that snapped a three-game losing streak.

"That's what makes him one of the better pitchers in the game," manager Brad Ausmus told MLB's official website. "He gets the big outs when needed."

He'll have a similar task Sunday after the Tigers dropped their first three in Anaheim to fall to 1-12 there since 2012.

The Angels (26-24) exploded on Saturday with five home runs in their 8-6 victory. Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Kole Calhoun, Matt Joyce and Carlos Perez all went deep off Detroit's Shane Greene in the first two innings.

''The bats came alive, and it was a good night for it," manager Mike Scioscia said.

Pujols has homered in his last three games - he hasn't gone deep in four straight since June 3-7, 2011, his last season in St. Louis - while Joyce has a home run in three of his last four contests.

''We were due for it,'' Trout said. ''The last couple of games, we've been hitting balls hard, but they just weren't falling in. And tonight we got a couple over the fence.''

Although dominant this season, Price has stumbled against the Angels in his last two meetings, allowing 12 runs in 13 2-3 innings in Anaheim. The most recent of those came on May 18, 2014, when Pujols hit two home runs off Price in the Angels' 6-2 win.

Matt Shoemaker (3-4, 5.44) will take the mound for Los Angeles. The right-hander is coming off the best performance of his season, as he threw seven scoreless innings Tuesday against San Diego after posting a 7.88 ERA over his previous three starts.

He enjoyed a solid showing last season against the Tigers, limiting Detroit to three hits in seven innings of a 4-0 win on July 26.

Los Angeles has won 16 of its last 19 meetings with the Tigers, including each of the last six. The Angels haven't swept the Tigers in a four-game series since April 19-22, 1996.

Erick Aybar, who has hit safely in 18 of his last 19, is expected to rejoin the Angels lineup after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury.

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