While the Tigers are hopeful Cabrera will be back for Friday night's series opener, the visiting Angels don't seem as optimistic about Pujols' return.
Cabrera left Thursday's 3-2, 11-inning win over Toronto in the second with right ankle soreness. The third baseman is one of the leading contenders for the AL MVP with a .326 average, 31 homers, 31 doubles and 105 RBIs, and Detroit (67-57) doesn't believe the injury is too serious.
"The trainers didn't seem too concerned," manager Jim Leyland told the Tigers' official website. "I talked to Miggy after the game and he didn't seem too concerned."
Pujols' return might not be as imminent.
He left Wednesday's 7-3 win over Boston in the fourth inning with tightness in his right calf. An MRI on Thursday revealed some inflammation and he didn't play in that evening's 14-13, 10-inning win over the Red Sox.
The three-time MVP has a team-high 86 RBIs and leads the majors with 14 homers since the All-Star break - one more than Cabrera - and is listed as day-to-day.
"Hopefully we will get some good news, but we have to wait for these guys to evaluate it," manager Mike Scioscia told the Angels' official website.
The Angels (65-60), who dropped three of four in Detroit in July, cannot afford to be without Pujols for long as they trail AL West-leading Texas by 8 1/2 games and are 2 1/2 out in the wild-card race.
Los Angeles, however, is hoping a three-game sweep in Boston - highlighted by Thursday's wild comeback - can be the emotional spark the team needs.
The Angels trailed 6-0 after two innings in the finale before plating eight runs in the third. They scored three in the ninth to take a one-run lead, but Ernesto Frieri gave it back. Kendrys Morales led off the 10th with a homer and Vernon Wells ' RBI double proved to be the difference."This team still has some fight in it," Wells said. "We know we have a unique opportunity to do something special and, hopefully, we can continue to take advantage of it."
Mike Trout finished with three hits, two RBIs, two runs and two stolen bases, and is batting .390 with 11 runs in his last 10 games. He had two homers and scored six times in Detroit last month.
The Tigers, who trail AL Central-leading Chicago by 1 1/2 games and are tied with Baltimore and Oakland for the league's second wild-card spot, are also coming off a three-game sweep despite plating fewer runs (11) than Los Angeles scored Thursday.
"We didn't do a whole lot this series offensively," Leyland said, "but I know our offense is good. It could break out at any time."
Facing Zack Greinke (1-2, 6.19 ERA) could help.
Greinke has a 7.20 ERA in his last four starts, yielding at least four earned runs in four consecutive starts for the first time in his nine-year career.
"It's been a very embarrassing first month (with the Angels)," he said after allowing six runs in six innings of Sunday's 8-3 loss to Tampa Bay. "I'm getting paid a lot to do better than I'm doing."
The right-hander, who is making his first appearance against the Tigers since 2010, has never faced former Milwaukee teammate Prince Fielder , who hit .545 with three RBIs against the Angels last month.
Greinke has a 2.13 ERA in his past six starts at Comerica Park.
The Tigers go with Rick Porcello (9-8, 4.67), who has given up nine runs over 12 innings in losing his last two starts. The righty gave up five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings against the Angels on July 16.
He's 3-1 in six lifetime starts versus Los Angeles despite a 6.29 ERA.
|Los Angeles Angels|
|August 22, 2012||Albert Pujols||Day-to-Day||Left game - right calf tightness|
|August 19, 2012||Peter Bourjos||15-Day DL||Sore right wrist|
|August 13, 2012||C.J. Wilson||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left hand|
|July 30, 2012||Mark Trumbo||Day-to-Day||Back spasms|
|July 30, 2012||Dan Haren||Day-to-Day||Back stiffness|
|July 29, 2012||Mike Trout||Day-to-Day||Left knee contusion|
|August 23, 2012||Miguel Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right ankle soreness|
|August 23, 2012||Doug Fister||Day-to-Day||Tightness in right groin|
|August 01, 2012||Ryan Raburn||15-Day DL||Sprained right thumb|
|July 07, 2012||Drew Smyly||15-Day DL||Right intercostal strain|
|July 07, 2012||Drew Smyly||15-Day DL||Right intercostal strain|
|July 02, 2012||Max Scherzer||Day-to-Day||Left hamstring soreness|
DETROIT (AP) -- For a change, Zack Greinke pitched like the player the Los Angeles Angels were hoping to get when they traded for him.
Greinke gave up one run and Howie Kendrick broke a scoreless tie with a two-run double in the sixth, lifting the Angels to a 2-1 win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
"That's the kind of game we need him to give us when he gets the ball," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said.
Miguel Cabrera 's two-out solo homer in the eighth chased Greinke. Scott Downs got the Angels out of the inning by getting Prince Fielder to ground out and retired Brennan Boesch to lead off the ninth. Garrett Richards struck out Delmon Young and Jhonny Peralta for the final two outs to earn his first career save.
Greinke (2-2) gave up five hits and two walks while striking out five over 7 2-3 innings. He was thankful that his outfielders had room to catch some deep fly balls in spacious Comerica Park.
"If we were playing in a smaller ballpark, it would have been a six, seven run game," Greinke said.
Rick Porcello (9-9) allowed two runs and seven hits over six innings. He allowed a walk and struck out six.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland was told by the team's medical staff that Cabrera was healthy enough to be a designated hitter, a day after he was taken out of a game with a sore right ankle.
Cabrera, playing with a heavily taped right ankle, said before the series opener against the Angels that he hoped to be back at third base on Saturday night.
Leyland didn't sound as if that was likely following the loss.
"I'm concerned about it after watching tonight," Leyland said. "He looked good at the plate, but moving around, certainly you would have to say there's some questions."
Greinke retired 11 straight before Cabrera hit a two-out double in the sixth. He stranded Cabrera by striking out Fielder looking and arguing about the called strike.
"He was hitting his spots," Fielder said before bristling about the possibly pivotal called strike.
Boesch led off the seventh with a single and Alex Avila drew a two-out walk before Greinke struck out pinch-hitter Andy Dirks .
Greinke lasted more than seven innings for the first time since pitching a shutout for Milwaukee on June 22. He was an out away from potentially pitching in the ninth when Cabrera hit his 32nd homer to pull Detroit within a run.
The Angels have won four straight for the first time in two months. Detroit had won three straight and six of eight.
The Angels had high hopes for Greinke when they acquired the 2009 AL Cy Young award winner nearly a month ago from the Brewers. He won on the road for the first time since June 27, when he was with Milwaukee, after giving up at least four earned runs in four straight starts for the first time in his nine-year career.
"For a while, I just pitched bad," Greinke said.
Fielder wasn't surprised to see his former Brewers teammate bounce back.
"When he's on the mound, he's dangerous," Fielder said.
Greinke gave up a hit and allowed a walk in the first inning before hustling to catch Boesch's popup in foul territory near Detroit's dugout.
After Ramon Santiago hit a leadoff single in the third, the Tigers couldn't get a runner on base until there were two outs in the sixth when Cabrera lumbered to second on his heavily taped right ankle.
Porcello pitched well, but paid the price for throwing a chest-high, 82-mph pitch when he had Kendrick down 0-2 in the sixth inning.
"He just left one up over the plate," Kendrick said. "I saw it and hit it."
Kendrick drove the ball into the left-center gap to bring Maicer Izturis scored and Mark Trumbo home after Torii Hunter extended the inning by a hard slide into second base that led to Omar Infante making a wide throw on a potential double play in what Scioscia called the key play of game.
"Just hustled down there and tried to break up the double play and that's what I did," Hunter said. "I was a told by a pretty good player when I was young - Kirby Puckett - to always do something that helps the team win."
NOTES: Cabrera was back in the lineup as a DH, a day after leaving a game with an injured right ankle, and hopes to be at 3B on Saturday. ... Angels 1B Albert Pujols has missed two straight games with an injured right calf and is aiming to play Saturday. ... Detroit's Brayan Villarreal and Octavio Dotel pitched three innings of scoreless relief. ... The Angels' last four-game winning streak was June 24-28. ... Greinke is 8-4 at Comerica Park, where he has won more games than any other place that hasn't been one of his home ballparks. ... Detroit optioned RHP Luke Putkonen to Triple-A Toledo and recalled LHP Drew Smyly to start Saturday's game. ... Izturis, who matched a season high with three hits, stole his career-high 15th base.