ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout homered in the same game for the eighth time this season, but rookies Kerry Carpenter and Ryan Kreidler hit back-to-back homers in the ninth inning to send the Detroit Tigers to a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.
Kreidler hit his first career homer off José Quijada (0-4) four pitches after Carpenter tied it with a homer down the left field line into the shortest porch at Angel Stadium.
Eric Haase went 5 for 5 with a homer and two doubles in the majors’ 12th five-hit game of the season, and former No. 1 overall draft pick Spencer Torkelson hit his first homer since July 3 as the Tigers snapped their four-game skid.
“This is what you work your whole life for, for moments like these,” said Kreidler, the UCLA product and Davis, California, native whose parents have been in the stands for every game since his debut last week in Detroit. “The fact that we’re rookies is cool, but we’re all on the same team here and we’re pulling in the same direction, so it feels good to get it done. I had trust that Carp would do something.”
Detroit avoided a series sweep with a 13-hit attack in just their second win in nine games, and three rookies came up with the biggest hits. Kreidler, Carpenter and Torkelson all played together at Triple-A Toledo last month.
“This is a young group of players who have played together and they’re trying to find their way,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “They’re up in the big leagues, and these are all unfamiliar situations for them, but they’re banding together, and today was a good (example) of why we like these guys.”
José Cisnero (1-0) pitched the eighth, and Gregory Soto allowed two baserunners before finishing his 25th save in a game that began in uncharacteristic 99-degree heat and ended with an all-too-normal Angels bullpen collapse. Los Angeles’ five relievers each gave up an extra-base hit to the first batter they faced.
Trout homered in his fourth consecutive game during the fifth inning, matching his career record for consecutive games with a homer and tying Ohtani for the team lead with his 32nd. Ohtani surged back ahead in the seventh with his 33rd, a tiebreaking solo shot to right off Andrew Chafin.
The Angels’ two former AL MVPs have homered in the same game 22 times in their five seasons together — including twice in the past three games against Detroit.
Matt Thaiss also hit his first homer since 2020 for the Angels, who wrapped up their first winning homestand since early May with an awful bullpen performance. Thaiss hasn’t stuck in the big leagues since his rookie season in 2019, but he is batting .333 during his current callup.
“He’s really swinging the bat well,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said of Thaiss. “The home run was obviously huge for us at that moment. We like what we see. We’re going to take a long look at him.”
Patrick Sandoval held the Tigers to six hits and a run over five innings. The left-hander couldn’t match his four-hit shutout with nine strikeouts at Detroit on Aug. 19.
Drew Hutchison yielded five hits and two walks over four innings for the Tigers.
Torkelson’s homer was the latest promising sign from the 2020 draft’s top prospect after a rough start to his career. He was sent back to the minors around the All-Star break while batting .197, but he returned to Detroit last Friday and then drove in his first run since July 12 on Tuesday night in Anaheim.
“Tork has done a nice job coming back in a very good mindset (and a) great place physically with where his stance is, where his weight is and where his mind is,” Hinch said. “You get rewarded for that (if) you keep hitting the ball hard.”
Tigers: OF Riley Greene got his second straight day off with a sore wrist. The rookie’s 13-game hitting streak ended Monday in the game in which he got injured.
Angels: RHP Michael Lorenzen is slated to rejoin the rotation Friday in Houston. The longtime Reds reliever had an up-and-down beginning to what was expected to be a full season as a starter before he went on the injured list July 7 and missed 56 games with a right shoulder strain.
Tigers: After a day off, rookie Joey Wentz (0-1, 8.10 ERA) is expected to return from the minors Friday in Kansas City. He made his big league debut with two starts in May.
Angels: After a day off, Lorenzen (6-6, 4.94 ERA) returns against the playoff-bound Astros to open the Halos’ six-game road trip Friday.
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