Ascending Angels seek sweep of tumbling Tigers

The Los Angeles Angels and Detroit Tigers will wrap up the month of June on Sunday afternoon in the finale of a four-game set in Anaheim, Calif.

The Angels have won six games in a row and will try to sweep the series following Saturday’s 6-5 win in 10 innings, while the Tigers are headed in the opposition direction, losers of four in a row and 10 of their past 13 games.

Win or lose on Sunday, the Angels are feeling pretty good despite a horrific start in which they went 21-36 through the end of May. But they will finish June with a winning month — they are 15-10 going into Sunday’s game — their first winning month since July of last year, when they went 12-11.

“We’re progressing,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “That’s what it’s about. We’re trying to get better every month. Everybody is contributing now, and that’s what we are looking for.

“I’ve said since April when the season opened that we were making progress, and I’ve never gotten off of that. June is on the schedule, and we want to do the same thing in July, August and September, and see where it goes. But that’s our purpose — to get better every month. We’ve put in time, we’ve put in work, and we should get better because we’ve got some good ballplayers.”

Left-hander Tyler Anderson (7-7, 2.63 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels on Sunday to make his 17th start of the season, coming off a 7-5 victory over the Oakland A’s on Tuesday. Anderson is 2-0 with a 4.20 ERA in three career starts against Detroit.

Right-hander Casey Mize (1-6, 4.54 ERA) will make his 16th start of the season for Detroit, coming off a 10-strikeout performance Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

While the strikeouts were impressive, Mize lasted just 4 1/3 innings and gave up four runs (three earned) and nine hits in an 8-1 loss.

“The thing that I value the most is runs and innings,” Mize said. “When I have a career-high strikeout game and give up four (runs), it doesn’t matter. The scoreboard wasn’t good, and we lost the game because of it.”

Mize doesn’t have a dominant pitch, relying relatively equally on his four-seam fastball, slider and splitter.

“I’ve been trying to have better execution,” he said. “Even better execution on the misses, just (off) the plate to make the hitters think about them a little longer, which allows the fastball to play better in the zone.”

Kevin Pillar’s first walk-off hit since 2018, a one-out single, was the difference for Los Angeles on Saturday. Logan O’Hoppe hit the game-tying homer in the eighth, and infielder Luis Rengifo had two hits for his fifth multi-hit contest in this seven-game homestand. That stretch includes two home runs and four RBIs.

Jake Rogers had a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly for the Tigers, who got a season-high nine strikeouts from starter Reese Olson.

–Field Level Media