DETROIT -- Three months after Michael Fulmer took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning against the Angels, they exacted their revenge with a Kaleb Cowart two-run homer and the stingy pitching of Brett Oberholtzer and Jhoulys Chacin, ending the Tigers' five-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory on Saturday night at Comerica Park.
Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez, manager Brad Ausmus and hitting coach Wally Joyner were all ejected in a span of four innings for arguing balls and strikes on a frustrating night for Detroit.
Fulmer (10-5), pitching on seven days' rest as part of Detroit's plan to temper the rookie's innings total and protect his arm, struggled with command and paid for it with a three-run third. After Fulmer hit Carlos Perez, he fell behind on Cowart, challenging him with fastballs over the plate on 3-0 and 3-1 counts. Cowart drilled the latter deep to right for his second Major League home run. Justin Upton's catch at the left-field fence on an Albert Pujols drive denied a three-run homer, but C.J. Cron singled home Kole Calhoun.
"I couldn't throw my slider for a strike, so I had to go elsewhere," Fulmer said. "We mixed it up enough to keep them off the board four out of five innings. Just that one inning."
Fulmer allowed five hits over as many innings, walking one and striking out four. Oberholtzer, starting in place of Chacin, allowed only an Ian Kinsler homer over three innings before Chacin delivered four scoreless innings of relief. Miguel Cabrera singled and scored in the eighth, but JC Ramirez stranded the potential tying run at third base by retiring red-hot Upton.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Angels' three-spot: It was pretty smooth sailing for Fulmer until he got to the third inning. He hit Perez to lead off the inning, then Cowart turned around and hit a 3-1 fastball to right field for his first home run of the season and the second of his career. Fulmer subsequently allowed a single and a walk before Cron delivered an RBI single to extend the Angels' lead to 3-1.
"Early runs are always important, but you take runs when they come," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We got back into the game, we had good at-bats, made Fulmer work hard to get the ball into the zone and then not much else after the three runs, but we pitched and we played defense."
Upton denies Pujols: For the second time this season, Upton made a highlight play at the fence of the Tigers bullpen in left to take away a potential home run. This time, he reached over the fence on Pujols' third-inning drive with two runners on base.
Romine catches Trout: Pujols flied out to right fielder Andrew Romine, who entered the game in the seventh inning after J.D. Martinez was ejected, with one out in the top of the seventh with runners at the corners. Cowart was tagging up from third base, trying to tack on a run for the Angels, but Trout was doubled off first base after he took off on contact and did not retreat toward first base until the ball was caught. Scioscia said there was supposed to be a hit-and-run on the play, but Trout missed the signal.
Kinsler's leadoff homer: Oberholtzer's fourth pitch of his first start this season ended up in the Tigers' bullpen, courtesy of Kinsler's sixth leadoff home run of the season. It was his 38th career leadoff homer.
FOUR TIGERS EJECTED
Victor Martinez, normally among the more mild-mannered sluggers in the game, was ejected after arguing a first-pitch called strike with plate umpire Mike Everitt in the third inning. Martinez had to be held back, then he threw his helmet back onto the field once he reached the dugout. Joyner joined Martinez in the clubhouse after a called third strike on Kinsler leading off the fifth inning, followed seconds later by Ausmus. An inning after that, Everitt ejected J.D. Martinez following a called third strike. More >
"I think Mike Everitt was calling pitches at the bottom of the zone, it seemed like, for both guys. He called Mike [Trout] out on a pitch that was borderline up, so I think he was going to the edges of the zone and that's what he was calling all night." -- Scioscia
"If he's going to call those pitches on our hitters, we need those pitches called on their hitters. That's really the gripe. Simple as that." -- Ausmus
WHAT'S NEXT Angels: The Angels wrap up a six-game road trip on Sunday at Comerica Park with Tyler Skaggs (1-3, 5.70 ERA) on the mound. Skaggs has allowed at least four runs in each of his four starts in August. He is 0-3 with a 9.68 ERA in the month.
Tigers:Anibal Sanchez (7-12, 5.83 ERA) takes the mound for the series finale, looking for his fifth quality start in six outings. He gave up six runs on eight hits in three innings against the Angels on May 31 at Anaheim.