Pitching Spoils Breakout Offensive Night for the Angels

The Angels haven't been the greatest offensive team this season, and come to think of it, their pitching hasn't been that fantastic either. But when they finally got some offensive production on Wednesday against the Tigers, some normally reliable pitching failed them in a 12-10 loss to Detroit.

Joe Saunders started the game on the mound for the Angels, and came in with a record of 2-1 and an ERA of just 2.18. But the Tigers got to him early on Wednesday, tagging him for two runs in the top of the first inning with nobody out. But Saunders was able to minimize the damage, by getting Miguel Cabrera to hit into a double play before the inning ended on a fly ball from Carlos Guillen.

The Angels' offense had Saunders' back, at least for a little while.

L.A. responded with three runs in the bottom of the first, thanks to a three-run blast from Kendry Morales. Morales finished the night with five RBIs, getting the rest on a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth. That base knock gave the Angels a 7-5 lead, which would have been enough to get Saunders the win, if not for the shaky relief pitching that followed him beginning in the sixth.

Justin Speier relieved Saunders, and gave up a run in the only inning he pitched. But Scot Shields was the one that allowed things to get out of hand in the top of the seventh.

Shields allowed a single, a walk, and another single, before walking in a run with the bases loaded and nobody out. That cut the Angels' lead to 8-7, and when Jose Arredondo came in to try to clean up Shields' mess, well, it was too late.

All three runners that Shields had put on base ended up scoring, and Arredondo allowed one of his own for good measure to give the Tigers an 11-8 lead when all was said and done.

The Angels rallied a bit in the bottom of the ninth, but could only manage two runs on a double from Juan Rivera.

It was only the third time all year that the Angels managed to put up more than six runs, and go figure -- the normally reliable Saunders and Shields had some of their worst outings of the season. Saunders will surely come back strong in his next start, but we're not so sure about Shields. After posting a career ERA number of 2.96, he's looking at a 14.40 in seven appearances this season.

The Angels' pitching woes are well-documented, and it's likely that the team will continue to struggle until they can get healthy. Until then, it's nice to see the offense show signs of life -- even if the result was scoring 10 runs in a home loss to the Tigers.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us