DETROIT (AP) -The
Los Angeles Angels
what playoff teams look like.
homered to back
, and the Angels beat the Tigers 7-1 Thursday to cut their magic number to six for clinching their fourth AL West title in
Santana (15-5) struck out eight in 7 1-3 innings, allowing one run and six hits.
''He's as consistent as any pitcher I've seen,'' Angels manager
said. ''He's approaching 30 starts, and he's throwing as well as he did in start five or six.''
Santana, who won his first six decisions this year, is 4-0 in seven starts since July 27.
''It's about working hard,'' he said. ''You just have to keep it up and keep throwing.''
Detroit (67-73), which hasn't been at .500 since Aug. 2, advanced just two runners past first base before
's homer in the eighth.
each drove in a pair of runs for the Angels, who broke open the game with a four-run third inning off
(9-13). Gary Matthews Jr. hit safely in his first four at-bats, his first four-hit game since June 9.
Rogers (9-13) was removed after he gave up four straight singles starting the third inning, his shortest start since he gave
up seven runs and got just two outs at Cleveland on July 25, 2006. The 43-year-old left-hander, who allowed six runs and eight
hits in two innings, has lost three straight starts and seven of eight.
''I'm not tired. I feel fine,'' he said. ''I had no reason for failing. I went out there and didn't get it done. That's the
only way to look at it. Everything they hit went for a double or single or whatever. I just couldn't stem the tide.''
Tigers manager Jim Leyland thought Rogers is fighting some nagging pain, but didn't think the pitcher would admit it.
''He won't make excuses. He's a professional,'' Leyland said.
Run-scoring singles by Teixeira in the first and Rivera in the second built the Angels' early lead.
and Teixeira hit run-scoring singles in the third, chasing Rogers, and
and Rivera singled in runs off
Hunter homered in the eighth off
, reaching 20 homers for the third consecutive season and seventh time in eight years. The drive landed an estimated 435 feet
away in the upper hedgerow at Comerica Park.
''That's the longest ball I've ever hit here,'' said Hunter, who made frequent stops in Detroit during his first seven full
seasons in the majors with Minnesota.
Notes: Teixeira tumbled over the tarp after making a catch in foul territory in the second but remained in the game. He said
he had a slight headache, but no physical pain. ... Detroit's
, the designated hitter for just the ninth time this season, extended his hitting streak to nine games. ...
made his major league debut when he replaced Tigers C
in the ninth.