Angels 6, Tigers 1: Rookie Mike Trout homered to lead off a four-run first inning and C.J. Wilson tossed 7 2/3 solid frames as host Los Angeles posted its fifth straight victory.
Howie Kendrick ripped a two-run double and Vernon Wells added an RBI double to cap a first-inning uprising against Justin Verlander (13-8). Kendrys Morales had a run-scoring double and Albert Pujols added an RBI single among his three hits for the Angels, who have won 14 of 17 to remain two games behind Baltimore and New York for the second wild-card spot in the American League.
Trout got the offense going right out of the chute, depositing the third pitch he saw from Verlander over the wall in left field. The blast was his 26th of the season - and first since Aug. 28.
Wilson (12-9) got off to a much smoother start. The left-hander posted his third straight victory after allowing one run on four hits and striking out six.
Omar Infante collected his 1,000th career hit with an RBI single in the fourth inning for the Tigers, who fell two games behind Chicago in the AL Central. The White Sox recorded a 5-4 triumph over Kansas City earlier on Saturday.
Verlander was battered for six runs on nine hits in six innings to take the loss. The reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner only struck out three to sit one behind teammate Max Scherzer for the major-league lead.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Trout's 26 leadoff homers ties him with Tony Phillips in 1996 and Brian Downing in 1982 for most in franchise history. ... Los Angeles 2B Maicer Izturis left the game with tightness in his rib cage. ... Umpire Jeff Kellogg exited the contest after taking a foul tip off his facemask in the bottom of the second inning. First base umpire Tim Timmons took over behind the plate. ... Timmons ejected Detroit's Miguel Cabrera after the slugger voiced his displeasure from the dugout. He then promptly bounced Gene Lamont after the third base coach objected to Cabrera's ejection.