Detroit Tigers Opening Day (Samantha Elliott/MJ)
Detroit Tigers Opening Day (Samantha Elliott/MJ)

BY RICKY LINDSAY, Staff Writer

The Detroit Tigers looked to get their season back on track Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. However, Mike Trout had other ideas.

Trout, the Angels’ center fielder, has had a spectacular rookie season, perhaps even one for the ages. He’s even battling Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera for the AL MVP.

Things looked good for the Tigers when it was announced that Jered Weaver would miss his start Friday night, with Ervin Santana taking his spot in the rotation. Santana has struggled this season, but somehow managed to dominate Tigers’ hitters.

Scherzer pitched well for the Tigers, allowing two earned runs while striking out nine. It was his tenth straight start with eight or more strikeouts.

The Tigers couldn’t muster up any offense other than solo home runs by Prince Fielder and Alex Avila. Cabrera struggled at the plate, striking out three times. It was the first time in two years that he’s struck out three times in a game.

The series opener went into extra innings, and the Angels won 3-2 with a walk-off hit. Once again, lack of run support hurts Scherzer. He’s pitched much better than his record indicates.

Saturday’s matchup also seemed like a win, with Justin Verlander taking on CJ Wilson. Verlander hasn’t pitched like we’ve all come to expect, allowing six earned runs, including four in the first inning.

The Angels won 6-1 with Trout playing a huge role in the victory. He hit a leadoff home run off of Verlander, and made a leaping catch to rob Fielder of a home run to end the game. The Tigers have lost five straight road games in which Verlander has started.

Sunday featured a pitching matchup between two trade deadline acquisitions; Anibal Sanchez for the Tigers, and Zack Greinke for the Angels. Sanchez had a quality start, going seven innings while allowing three runs.

Trout propelled the Angels to a 3-2 win with another leadoff home run. The Tigers continued to struggle with scoring runs. They only scored five in this series while allowing 12. The loss dropped the Tigers’ record to 17-24 in one run games this season.

The Tigers finish their long road trip with a four game series in Chicago, followed by a three game series in Cleveland. The four game series starts Monday in the South Side, two games behind the White Sox, with each game starting at 8:10pm. The series against the White Sox is crucial, as it could be the last chance the Tigers have to make up ground in the AL Central race.