Before the game, Anaheim manager Terry Collins was talking about how humbling the baseball gods could be. A while later, they gave him a break.
"In this league, you've got to have some offense," Collins said. "Unfortunately for us, it might be too late."
The win prevented the Angels, who are 6-23 since the All-Star break, from falling 23 games under .500 for the first time since Oct. 1, 1983.
"We had one big inning when we needed somebody to step up, and nobody did," Detroit manager Larry Parrish said.
Still, the Tigers trailing 7-2 made it interesting with a two-run rally that forced Collins to bring in relief ace Troy Percival in the ninth.
"I wasn't sure they were going to need me tonight, but I didn't rule it out, either," said Percival, who got the last out for his 26th save after Juan Encarnacion's two-run single made it 7-4. "They've got a pesky offense. That little uprising didn't surprise me."
Mike Magnante (4-1) got the win with 2 1-3 innings in relief of starter Ken Hill, who left with a tight right groin with one out in the fourth. Magnante gave up one run and two hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Detroit's Brian Moehler (8-12), winless in four starts since July 23, gavup seven runs and 11 hits with one walk and three strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings.
"His first couple of years, Brian didn't give up many big innings," Parrish said. "Lately, he's had a lot of them. I don't know if he's thinking about it too much, or what."
Hill, seeking his second road win of the season, struck out the side in the second. But he was relieved by Magnante with one out and the bases loaded in the fourth. Magnante got out of the jam with a force at the plate on Frank Catalanotto's infield grounder and Gabe Kapler's strikeout.
"We were probably sitting in the catbird seat right there," Parrish said. "But we just couldn't get the big hit. That inning could have made all the difference for us."
Collins knows all about that. But this time the Angels had the big inning, scoring four runs on five hits to take a 4-1 lead in the third.
"We had been swinging the bats better the last couple of nights," said Collins, a native of Midland, Mich. "This time, the hits fell in."
"When we've had a healthy Salmon, Vaughn and Edmonds, this is a whole different lineup," Collins said. "We knew when we got our guys healthy, we'd get some hits. I can only hope it continues."
Detroit's Tony Clark made it 4-2 against Magnante in the sixth with his 21st homer.
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