Shoemaker shuts down hometown Tigers, pitches Angels to win

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DETROIT (AP) Matt Shoemaker grew up 30 miles south of the Motor City, rooting for the Detroit Tigers.

Pitching for the first time in the Tigers' home, Shoemaker made it memorable.

Shoemaker threw one-hit ball into the eighth inning, Albert Pujols drove in one run and scored another and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Detroit Tigers 2-0 Thursday.

''This was unbelievably special,'' Shoemaker said. ''To get a win for this team, and do in front of tons of friends and family. It was great.''

The Angels began the day trailing Minnesota by one game for the second American League wild-card spot, with Texas also a half-game ahead of them, so Shoemaker's performance was even more important.

''That's as good as it gets from Matt,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''That's a tough lineup to go through, and you can't say enough about the adjustments he kept making.''

Angels catcher Carlos Perez got a big assist in the win, too. Two of them, in fact, as he picked off Anthony Gose at first base and later threw him out trying to steal second.

Shoemaker (6-9) was born in Wyandotte, went to high school in Trenton and attended Eastern Michigan University, a school that has a large ad on the right field fence. He dominated the team he grew up watching, permitting just a single by Gose in the third.

''I went to games at Tiger Stadium growing up, and I went to games here,'' he said. ''Cecil Fielder was always my favorite player.''

Shoemaker walked one and struck out five in 7 1-3 innings.

Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 31st save, finishing the combined two-hitter.

Randy Wolf (0-2) pitched well enough to win in his second start since June 2014. He gave up one run on five hits and two walks in seven innings, striking out five.

The Angels broke the scoreless tie with two outs in the sixth. Wolf walked Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout, and Pujols followed with a RBI single to left.

''The walk to Calhoun is the one thing that I wish I could have back,'' Wolf said. ''When you get behind Mike Trout, you don't give him something he can crush, and I actually got lucky with Albert. That was a terrible pitch, and I got a break that he only hit it for a single.''

Pujols got into a rundown between first and second, but was tagged out before Trout was able to get to the plate with a second run.

''Albert saw the ball get away from the catcher and thought he could make it,'' Scioscia said. ''They just shut him down before Mike could get home.''

In the meantime, the Tigers kept losing runners on the basepaths, something they do more often than any team in baseball. Picked off early, the speedy Gose was then nabbed by Perez in the sixth.

''There's more to stealing bases than speed, and Anthony is still learning a lot of that,'' Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. ''If you look at Rajai (Davis), he's a veteran, and he's got that feel of what pitchers and catchers are doing.''

Detroit leads the American League in runners caught stealing and grounding into double plays, and is among the leaders in both runners picked off and thrown out at the plate.

Scioscia pulled Shoemaker after he retired Victor Martinez to start the eighth, and the move almost didn't work. J.D. Martinez hit Joe Smith's first pitch into left-center for a triple, but Smith struck out Nick Castellanos and retired Alex Avila to end the inning.

''I didn't think Matt was getting tired, but he hadn't been at that pitch count for a while,'' Scioscia said. ''They had guys coming up who could get the ball out of the park, and he had just gone 3-1 on Victor.''

Los Angeles loaded the bases in the ninth against Bruce Rondon, and Shane Victorino had a sacrifice fly.


Angels: 2B Grant Green returned to the lineup after leaving Tuesday's game with right knee soreness and sitting out Wednesday.

Tigers: RHP Shane Greene was scheduled to have season-ending surgery Thursday in Dallas to repair a weakened blood vessel in his right shoulder that has pressed against a nerve, causing numbness in his pitching hand. Greene should be ready for offseason conditioning and spring training.


Angels: Los Angeles flies across Lake Erie to start a three-game series in Cleveland with Andrew Heaney (5-2, 3.39) facing Danny Salazar (11-7, 3.30) in the opener. Heaney gave up a career-worst eight runs in his last start.

Tigers: Detroit also remains in the Great Lakes, playing Toronto in a weekend series at Rogers Centre. Former Blue Jays pitcher Matt Boyd (1-2, 4.88) faces R.A. Dickey (8-10, 4.26) in Friday night's opener.