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LA Angels0 0 3 0 0 1 0 0 1 591
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  W: G. Canning (1-0)   L: D. Norris (1-1)   S: H. Robles (3)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, May 7, 2019
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan  Attendance: 14,169

Pujols eyes 2,000th RBI when Angels face Tigers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers

  1. The Angels are averaging 3.36 runs on the road this season, slugging .308 with only eight home runs. Their runs per game on the road this season ranks 26th in MLB, while their slugging and home run total both rank last.
  2. Detroit's relievers have posted a 9.99 ERA since April 26 and have allowed a home run in four straight games. Opponents are slugging .470 against the Tigers' bullpen this season, second highest in MLB behind the Orioles' bullpen (.516).
  3. The home team won seven of the eight games in this series last season, with Los Angeles sweeping a three-game set in Anaheim and Detroit winning three of four games at Comerica. The Angels outhomered the Tigers, 13-6, last season, while also outscoring them, 11-4, after the sixth inning.
  4. With two home runs on Sunday, Jonathan Lucroy has matched his home run total (four) from last season. After slugging .325 in 126 games with Oakland in 2018, he has a .408 slugging percentage in 29 games this season, including slugging .556 with eight runs scored in his last eight games.
  5. Miguel Cabrera is hitting .387 in his last seven games, but has only three extra-base hits in that time. Of his 36 hits this season, 29 have been singles, tied for the third-highest percentage (80.6) in MLB (minimum 30 hits).
  6. Shohei Ohtani traveled with the Angels to Detroit for this series and will be evaluated to determine if he's ready to play. The 2018 AL Rookie of the Year became the second player in MLB history to start at least 10 games and hit at least 20 home runs in a season (10 starts, 22 home runs), joining Babe Ruth in 1919 (15 starts, 29 home runs).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 5/7/2019 thru 5/9/2019

It may take only one at-bat Tuesday night for Albert Pujols to overshadow his manager's return to Detroit.

Pujols will look to pick up the 2,000th RBI of his Hall of Fame-bound career Tuesday night, when the Los Angeles Angels visit the Detroit Tigers in the opener of a three-game series.

Both teams were off Monday after eventful games Sunday. Brandon Dixon hit a walk-off three-run homer in the 10th inning to lift the host Tigers past the Kansas City Royals 5-2. The Angels absorbed the final loss of a two-game series sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros by falling 10-4 in Monterrey, Mexico.

Angels rookie right-hander Griffin Canning (0-0, 6.23 ERA) will make his second big-league start when he opposes Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris (1-0, 3.47 ERA).

Pujols is hitless in five at-bats since recording his 1,999th RBI with a solo homer in the sixth inning Saturday. He is looking to become just the fifth player in history to reach 2,000 RBIs, and the third since 1920, when the RBI became an official statistic. Hank Aaron ranks first with 2,297 RBIs while Alex Rodriguez, the most recent player to reach the milestone, is third with 2,086 RBIs. Babe Ruth, who recorded 224 of his 2,214 RBIs prior to 1920, ranks second while Cap Anson, who collected all 2,075 of his RBIs in the 19th century, is fourth.

"A lot of guys have been on base for me," Pujols told the Southern California News Group earlier this season. "It's something you don't accomplish by yourself. You have to have a lot of pieces that have to go right, and I've been able to have that my whole career."

With one more RBI, Pujols will join Aaron and Rodriguez as the only players in history with 3,000 hits, 2,000 RBIs and 600 homers. Pujols joined the 600-homer club in 2017 and the 3,000-hit club last year.

The series opener Tuesday will mark Angels manager Brad Ausmus' first game in Detroit since his four-year tenure as Tigers manager ended following the 2017 season.

The Tigers won the American League Central title in Ausmus' first season as manager in 2014 but never made the playoffs again and were 30 games under .500 the next three seasons. The team announced in September 2017 it would not offer Ausmus a new contract once his deal expired after the season. Ausmus spent last year in the Angels' front office before being named the successor to Mike Scioscia in October.

The Tigers were one of six teams to change managers following the 2017 season, but the only one that went with experience in the dugout by hiring Ron Gardenhire, who managed the Minnesota Twins to the playoffs six times from 2002-14.

The Tigers went 64-98 last season and are off to an up-and-down 15-16 start this year. Detroit has alternated narrow wins with lopsided losses in its last five games and bounced back Sunday from a 15-3 loss on Saturday.

"You can't carry stuff like Saturday's game with you, even though you know when you get to the park the next day, you remember what happened," Gardenhire told reporters Sunday. "But once this game starts, that's over with. We play a lot of baseball games in a row and you have to be able to forget. Short memory. That's what these guys did today."

Canning, a second-round pick of the Angels in 2017 out of UCLA, debuted in the majors on April 30 and didn't factor into the decision after allowing three runs over 4 1/3 innings as Los Angeles edged the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3.

Norris didn't factor into the decision in his most recent start Wednesday, when he gave up one run over five innings in the Tigers' 7-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. He is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in two career starts against the Angels.

--Field Level Media

Updated May 7, 2019

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