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ROUGH START FINISHES ANGELS DETROIT 10, ANGELS 1.

Byline: Joe Haakenson Staff Writer

ANAHEIM - Angels manager Mike Scioscia leaned back in the recliner in his Angel Stadium clubhouse office Sunday morning, answering questions about how well his starters have pitched lately.

He was quick to note the game has a funny way of turning on a team, and in a hurry.

``You're going to have a clam in there once in a while, when a guy gets hit around a little bit,'' he said.

Sunday afternoon, the Angels had more of a giant squid than a clam, getting clobbered by the Detroit Tigers 10-1 before 43,587.

The Tigers took two of three in the series, the first time they've won a series against the Angels since taking two of three May 11-13, 2001.

The Tigers knocked Angels starter Jarrod Washburn (2-1) out of the game with a seven-run third inning, leaving the late-arriving Mother's Day-brunch crowd to wonder what happened to a team that has pitched so well lately.

Brandon Igne hit Washburn's second pitch of the game over the fence in left-center field. After a 1-2-3 second inning, the Tigers unloaded in the third.

Kevin Gregg came on in relief in the third but wasn't any more effective, walking four batters before ending the inning by striking out Ivan Rodriguez with the bases loaded.

Rodriguez batted with the bases loaded earlier in the inning and delivered a three-run triple, aided by a carom off the left-field fence.

The Tigers sent 13 batters to the plate.

``When you're choking on their dust like that,'' Scioscia said, ``it's tough to come back.''

Before Sunday, Angels starters had pitched into the seventh inning or deeper in nine of 10 games, and the pitching staff as a whole had allowed more than two runs in a game once in seven games.

``You're not going to pitch as well as we have the last week every time out,'' Washburn said. ``But I let the team down today. We had a good run going, and I stopped it.''

Washburn said the key to the inning might have been the ball that was hit the shortest distance.

With a runner on first and nobody out, Nook Logan popped up a bunt toward the mound. Washburn got horizontal in a diving attempt but couldn't make the play.

Logan had a bunt single, and the Tigers took it from there.

``If I make the play on the bunt, it probably changes the whole inning,'' Washburn said. ``I wasn't very far off. But looking back, I should have let it drop and made the play at first.''

Washburn's ERA going into the game was 2.72, but after 2 1/3 innings Sunday it was 4.07.

``He had problems putting the ball in zones and putting guys away,'' Scioscia said. ``He'll pick himself up. It's his first tough start in quite a while.''

Even with a better-pitched game, the Angels might have had trouble beating the Tigers the way Mike Maroth pitched. Maroth, a 21-game loser in 2003, allowed one run and three hits in eight innings. The Angels' only run came on Robb Quinlan's leadoff homer in the sixth. No other Angel got as far as second base.

The Angels are hitting .243 as a team, and only one regular - Vladimir Guerrero at .322 - is hitting better than .300.

``It seems like last year we went through the same thing,'' Quinlan said. ``Everyone in here has the same feeling, that we haven't played our best baseball yet. It's a matter of time before the hitting comes around.''

Joe Haakenson, (626) 962-8811

joe.haakenson(at)sgvn.com

CAPTION(S):

photo, 2 boxes

Photo:

Pitcher Jarrod Washburn and catcher Jose Molina try to field a bunt that went for a single Sunday.

Francis Specker/Associated Press

Box:

(1) TIGERS 10, ANGELS 1

(2) HOW THE RUNS SCORED
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 9, 2005
Words:641
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