DETROIT (AP) — Drew Smyly's return to the rotation was an inauspicious one.
The left-hander allowed four runs in three innings before being pulled Friday night in Detroit's 11-6 loss to the Angels. Tigers reliever Luke Putkonen fared even worse, allowing seven runs as Los Angeles broke the game open.
"I felt pretty good, I just couldn't put anyone away," Smyly said. "Any time I'd get ahead of someone, they would keep fouling off pitches and working the count, and then they'd find something they could hit. That's a really good lineup, and they hammered everything I left over the plate."
Albert Pujols hit his 497th home run and Howie Kendrick added two of his own to lead the Angels, who chased Smyly (1-1) early and finished with 13 hits — 10 for extra bases. Kendrick hit two-run homers in the third and fourth, and Pujols lined a three-run shot to left field in the sixth to make it 11-1.
Jered Weaver (1-2) allowed a run and three hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out three.
The Angels have won 10 straight against the Tigers, the longest active streak in the majors by one team over another.
Smyly allowed six hits in his first start since 2012. The Angels scored two runs each in the second and third, then pulled away with four off Putkonen in the fourth.
After excelling in the bullpen in 2013, Smyly is going to start for the Tigers this season, but his first two appearances of the year came in relief because Detroit didn't need a fifth starter yet.
His first chance to start went badly. Smyly needed 82 pitches to get through three innings.
With the Angels already ahead 2-0, Pujols led off the third with a double and Kendrick followed with his first homer of the night. Putkonen came on the following inning and couldn't quiet the Los Angeles bats.
After a two-run double by Mike Trout made it 6-1, Kendrick hit a two-out drive to right-center that was ruled a homer after a review. The ball appeared to glance off a rail above the wall.