James McCann’s grand slam powers Detroit Tigers to win over Angels
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — James McCann hit a drive to left field and paused ever so slightly — not enough to cause any sort of incident, but enough to make it clear he realized how well he’d connected.
“That was a good feeling, and a big spot in the game to open it up like that,” the Detroit catcher said. “I try not to show anybody up. It was definitely a special hit, a special feeling for me.”
McCann’s grand slam in the third inning lifted the Tigers to a 9-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. Matthew Boyd pitched impressively into the sixth inning for Detroit, and although Mike Trout hit his major league-leading 18th homer for the Angels in the ninth, by then the Tigers had the game in hand.
Boyd (3-4) allowed two hits in five-plus innings. His first scoreless outing of the season came on a hot day in which Detroit outfielder Niko Goodrum had to leave the game because of heat exhaustion. The temperature was around 90 degrees when Goodrum was removed for a defensive replacement in the fourth.
“Niko’s fine,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He was pretty shaky out there. He was having a hard time grabbing his breath. … He’s doing good right now.”
Before leaving, Goodrum made a contribution. He beat out an infield hit in the second and went to third on a single by John Hicks. JaCoby Jones grounded into a double play, but the run came home to put the Tigers up 1-0.
McCann broke the game open an inning later with a drive to left for his third career grand slam. Leonys Martin added a solo homer in the seventh, and Victor Reyes made it 7-0 with a triple later that inning — his first career RBI.
Tyler Skaggs (3-4) allowed five runs and six hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out five.
“I’ve got to be better than that, but I didn’t get any breaks,” Skaggs said. “There was a lot of soft contact that found a hole, and then when I make a bad pitch, it ends up as a grand slam.”
Boyd walked three and struck out four.
“He did a nice job of changing speeds and moving the ball around,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We got his pitch count up, but we didn’t get a lot of good swings.”
Albert Pujols hit an RBI double in the eighth for the Angels and scored on a double by Andrelton Simmons. Trout’s solo shot came with two outs in the ninth.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado and Scioscia were both ejected in the seventh after Maldonado was called out on strikes.
OHTANI’S NEXT START?
Scioscia said two-way star Shohei Ohtani is “penciled in” to pitch Wednesday night at Detroit, but there’s still some uncertainty. “We will let you know (today),” Scioscia said.