DETROIT (AP) — Buck Farmer outlasted Alex Meyer in an unexpected pitchers’ duel, and Justin Upton hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-0 on Wednesday night.
Farmer (2-0) allowed three hits in 6 2/3 innings, and Detroit pushed across an unearned run in the third. Upton gave the Tigers some insurance with a drive to left off reliever Yusmeiro Petit.
Detroit has won five of six.
Meyer (2-3) permitted three hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out nine, but his wildness proved costly in the third. A hit batter, a walk and an error loaded the bases with nobody out, and the game’s first run came home when Victor Martinez bounced into a double play.
Farmer pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings May 27 in his first start of the season, striking out 11 against the Chicago White Sox. He was recalled from Triple-A Toledo before Wednesday’s game, and with Matthew Boyd down in the minors, Farmer will have a chance to contribute for the Tigers.
The right-hander has spent time in the majors in every season since 2014, but the game against the White Sox was his first victory. Detroit will hope these first two starts of 2017 are a sign of things to come for a pitcher the team drafted in the fifth round in 2013.
Meyer, meanwhile, set a career high with his nine strikeouts and allowed only one hit through five innings. But the Angels, playing without injured star Mike Trout, couldn’t give him any run support.
Meyer hit Ian Kinsler around the ear flap with a pitch in the third, then walked Alex Avila. An error by third baseman Yunel Escobar on Miguel Cabrera’s grounder loaded the bases, and when Martinez grounded into a double play, the Tigers scored what for a while was the game’s only run.
Angels: Relief pitcher Cam Bedrosian (groin) felt some stiffness recently. Manager Mike Scioscia said Bedrosian played catch from 90 feet Wednesday. “It’s just going to push things back a couple days until we can get him off the mound again and just make sure that everything is OK,” Scioscia said. Bedrosian hasn’t pitched for the Angels since April 21.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander is expected to throw a bullpen Thursday. He left his previous start Sunday with groin tightness, but an MRI came back clean.
Angels: RHP JC Ramirez (5-4) takes the mound for Thursday’s series finale against Detroit.
Tigers: RHP Michael Fulmer (6-3) tries for his 11th quality start of the season.