There's something about the Tigers that brings out the best of the Angels in recent meetings. The Angels have won the last six matchups heading into Tuesday's series opener at Comerica Park.
The Tigers will look to avenge the only series of three or more games they've been swept in this season. They lost to the Angels three times in April at Angel Stadium. Albert Pujols went 5-of-13 in that series with three RBIs and two walks. He has hit .432 (35-of-81) against Detroit, and he's played well over the last 20 games. He's hit .296 (24-of-81) with five doubles, five home runs and 16 RBIs.
With Pujols, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo, the Halos are the only team in the Majors to have three players with at least 10 home runs, 15 doubles and 40 RBIs. Trout has had an encore to his historical rookie campaign last season. He's the only player in the Majors with 15 or more stolen bases and 40 or more RBIs.
"I think experience will continue to be a teacher for Mike," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's going to understand what he can do on a baseball field and what he can do to help a team win, but that consistency component is going to be important as you evaluate Mike through the years."
The Tigers will hand the ball to Rick Porcello, who is 4-4 with a 4.74 ERA. He had four consecutive quality starts before his last outing Wednesday against the Orioles. He received the loss, allowing six runs in as many innings on nine hits. It was the most runs he allowed this season since he gave up nine earned runs in two-thirds of an inning on just 47 pitches against the Angels on April 20. Porcello hung a curveball on Trout's grand slam, which knocked him out of the game. He has improved on that pitch since that outing.
"With [Tigers righty Max] Scherzer, [the curveball] was a little gingerbread," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "With Porcello, it was a necessity."
Since the Angels start, Porcello has gone 4-2 with a 3.43 ERA. Leyland will have a rested bullpen with Monday's day off if Porcello struggles early, but he'd rather not tax his relievers.
"If our starters are good, then the bullpen is going to be fine," Leyland said.
The Angels will start lefty C.J. Wilson, who has won his past two starts, limiting the Yankees and Mariners to two earned runs over 14 innings. On April 21 against Detroit, Wilson gave up three runs on five hits in six innings and received a no-decision.
Tigers: Sanchez progressing from injury
• Anibal Sanchez felt fine after a long-toss session Saturday. He will throw off the bullpen mound Tuesday.
He went on the 15-day disabled list on June 16 with a strained right shoulder. He's eligible to come off on July 1. Jose Alvarez is scheduled to make one more start in Sanchez's rotation spot Wednesday against the Angels.
Angels: Three players sent to Arizona
• The Angels sent Sean Burnett, Roberto Coello and Ryan Madson to their Spring Training facility in Tempe, Ariz., for extended spring camp.
The trio will continue their rehab at the complex. Burnett is on the 15-day disabled list with a left elbow impingement, while Coello is on the 15-day disabled list for right shoulder inflammation. Both have been shut down in June, and Scioscia said they're not expected to throw for a while. Madson had Tommy John surgery in April 2012, but Scioscia said he might not pitch for the Angels this season.
• The Angels are 62-36 against the Tigers since 2002, including a 25-22 mark at Comerica Park.
• The Tigers have won 59 of their last 83 home games since July 4, 2012. They lead the Majors with the most home wins during that stretch.
Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.