DETROIT — Max Scherzer gave the Tigers' beleaguered bullpen a bit of a breather.
Scherzer struck out nine in seven innings — fanning Mike Trout three times in the process — and Detroit finally managed to beat the Angels, 5-2 on Saturday.
The Tigers had lost 10 straight to Los Angeles, including 11-6 the previous night, a game in which the Angels had 10 extra-base hits.
"I realized it was important to get deep into a game, and that's why even after the sixth inning I said, 'Let me go back out there,' " Scherzer said. "I know our bullpen has been taxed as of late."
Nick Castellanos and Victor Martinez homered for the Tigers, who beat the Angels for the first time since Aug. 26, 2012. Albert Pujols hit his 498th homer, a solo shot in the ninth for Los Angeles.
Scherzer, last year's American League Cy Young Award winner, struck Pujols out twice and shut down Trout, rebounding after giving up a homer to J.B. Shuck to lead off the game.
"Some days you've just got to tip your cap. (Scherzer) made a few good pitches," Trout said. "He's got good life on his fastball. The ball, in the middle, kind of rises up from that kind of sidearm motion."
Joe Nathan got Trout looking to start the ninth. It was Trout's first career four-strikeout game.