ANAHEIM -- Jhoulys Chacin twirled his best start of the season and got the offensive outburst he needed as the Angels knocked off the Tigers, 5-1, in the first game of a three-game home set on Monday.
Chacin, who was acquired from the Braves in a trade on May 11, was stellar in his fourth start for the Angels. He didn't allow a baserunner until the sixth inning and tossed a complete game, his first since 2011, while striking out a season-high 10 on 114 pitches.
"It was unbelievable," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "From what we've seen, this is definitely his best outing."
Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander nearly matched Chacin pitch-for-pitch, not surrendering his first baserunner until the fifth and striking out seven. He gave up the game's first run in the eighth, as Cliff Pennington's RBI single to left started a five-run inning to power the Angels to a win.
"For seven, seven and a half innings, it was an outstanding pitched game, both sides," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Chacin was pitching extremely well, a lot of movement, good slider. And Verlander was pretty much matching him."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Chacin Control: Chacin was dominant against the Tigers, duking it out with Verlander and retiring the first 17 hitters of the game before Andrew Romine's two-out single in the sixth inning.The lone run came in the ninth on Victor Martinez's sacrifice fly. More >
"I'm really happy," Chacin said. "I feel healthy, I feel like my arm is just getting stronger every time. Hopefully it just stays that way the whole season."
Tigers miss opportunities: Once the Tigers put a runner on base against Chacin, they put together two chances to break through with a win before Chacin thwarted both. Romine ended up on third with two outs following an Ian Kinsler bloop single before Chacin struck out J.D. Martinez. An inning later, Detroit had runners on first and second with one out before Chacin induced groundouts to second from Justin Upton and Cameron Maybin on consecutive pitches.
"When we don't do anything offensively, it seems like a lineup epidemic," Ausmus said of his streaky offense. "And when we do hit, it seems like everyone pitches in. And tonight was one of those epidemic nights."
Worth a pretty Penny: Pennington, who was making just his second start since being activated from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, came through for the game's first run in the eighth inning. After Johnny Giavotella and Rafael Ortega singled to open the frame, Pennington singled to left to break the stalemate.
McCann's errorless streak ends: Tigers catcher James McCann had been errorless for the first 139 games of his Major League career, but his first error was a costly one. After Ortega beat Romine's throw home for a 2-0 lead, McCann tried to get the out at first on Gregorio Petit, throwing from his knees. The throw went wide of Miguel Cabrera and into right field, scoring Pennington.
"If I hold onto it and make a good throw, I put it in Miggy's chest, that guy's out," McCann said. "That situation, we're looking for outs. Obviously hindsight's 20-20, I didn't make a good throw. But if I do make a good throw, that's an out and we get out of that inning."
"This is just what the doctor ordered. We needed this as a team. To not just pitch nine innings, but to be as effective as he was hyped up against Justin Verlander. Those guys were going pitch-by-pitch." -- Scioscia, on the Chacin-Verlander duel
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Chacin and Verlander combined to retire the first 27 batters of the game before Angels first baseman C.J. Cron singled to right to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. That was the highest total to start a game since the Athletics and White Sox combined to retire the first 28 batters of the game on Aug. 1, 2010. The Major League record to start a game is 30.
WHAT'S NEXT Tigers:Anibal Sanchez (3-6, 6.04) tries for his first win since April 28 when he takes the ball for the middle game of the series at 10:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Sanchez lost a 2-0 game to Hector Santiago at Angel Stadium during the Tigers' visit here last May.
Angels: Left-hander Hector Santiago (3-3, 4.58 ERA) takes the mound for the Angels at 7:05 p.m. PT on Tuesday. He's seen his last two outings end in less than three innings, one due to an ejection and another after giving up five runs to the Rangers.