MLB: Trout's 1st slam helps Angels beat Tigers 10-0

By Joe Resnick

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, April 20 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout celebrates with teammates as he comes into the dugout after hitting a grand slam to also drive in Brendan Harris, Peter Bourjos and Luis Jimenez off Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello during the first inning of a baseball game on Saturday, April 20, 2013, in Anaheim, Calif.

Danny Moloshok, Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Mike Trout described his first major league grand slam as "just another home run."

Teammate Garrett Richards was pretty grateful just the same for the nine-run first inning to support him against Detroit's Rick Porcello.

Trout's second homer of the season capped the Angels' most productive first inning in almost 18 years, and Richards pitched two-hit ball over seven innings in a 10-0 romp over the defending AL champion Tigers on Saturday.

"It's always good to help your starter out like that. Then they can pound the strike zone and not have to worry too much," Trout said. "We're looking better, stating positive, grinding it out and having great at-bats."

Richards (1-0) struck out eight and walked none. Prince Fielder's leadoff single in the second and Miguel Cabrera's leadoff double in the seventh were the only hits off the right-hander in his second start for the injured Jered Weaver, who is sidelined with a broken bone in his non-pitching arm.

"I don't pay attention to the score. I try to pitch the same, whether it's 9-0 or 0-0," said Richards, who left the dugout during the long inning and played catch with backup catcher Hank Conger in the indoor batting cage to stay loose. "Those kinds of games are a little bit harder to pitch in, just because you don't want to relax. You want to keep going after guys. I stayed aggressive and kept attacking guys."

Richards has pitched into the seventh inning in both starts — the only one on the staff to make it past the sixth in the team's first 16 games.

"He threw 94-97, and his fastball moves in three different directions, so we don't really know which way it's going to go," catcher Chris Iannetta said. "The hitters don't know either."

The Tigers, who lost Friday night's series opener 8-1, were shut out for the third time this season and have scored three runs in their last 42 innings — two of which came on groundouts.

Porcello (0-2) faced 11 batters, threw 47 pitches and got only two outs — on a double-play grounder by Iannetta. The right-hander, who gave up an AL-worst 226 hits last season en route to a 10-12 record, has allowed 16 earned runs in 11 innings over his first three starts for a 13.09 ERA.

Albert Pujols singled with two men on to drive in the Angels' first run of the game and Josh Hamilton walked to load the bases before Mark Trumbo singled in the second run and Howie Kendrick added two more with another single.

"We really had the same plan we usually take, staying up the middle and waiting for our pitch," Trout said. "That was our main thing. When Trumbo hit the bases-loaded single and Howie came up with the two-run single, it was big just to keep the inning going for us."

Brendan Harris delivered the fifth run with a two-out single, and the Angels loaded the bases again with infield hits by Luis Jimenez and Peter Bourjos.

Trout then drove a 1-2 curveball into the trees beyond the center field fence. Detroit manager Jim Leyland finally replaced the shell-shocked Porcello with Drew Smyly, who gave up a double to Pujols before retiring Hamilton on a flyball.

"I struggled a little bit with my command, but it wasn't all that bad," Porcello said. "I think we've all had games where guys are hitting the ball hard against you, but right at people. You cruise through seven innings and you walk away feeling pretty good about it — even though you didn't throw the ball that well. Today I felt like I threw the ball fine. I did the best I could, but it just wasn't in the cards today."

The 10 first-inning hits set an Angels franchise record. It was their highest scoring inning since a nine-run sixth at Texas on July 30, 2012, and their most productive first inning since they started with 11 runs June 29, 1995, also at Texas.

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