Bottom third was top-notch vs. Tigers

ANGEL CATCHER Martin Maldonado was one of the batters in the lower third of the lineup who powered a 9-2 win on Tuesday (Angels photo).

By Pete Zarustica

When you think about the bats-to-fear in the lineup of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, there are – of course – Mike Trout and Albert Pujols and Andrelton Simmons. But when that part of the batting order is quiet, who you gonna call?

On Tuesday night in Detroit, it was Ian Kinsler, Luis Valbuena and Martin Maldonado. Batting seventh, eighth and ninth, they answered the bell with vigor, smacking three home runs and driving in all the runs in the Angels’ 9-2 victory.

“Luis and Ian, those guys have been working hard,” said Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia, “and it’s good to see them square some balls up and get some hits to fall in.”

The victory put the team’s record at 30-25, good for third place in the American League West. It also opened up a two-game lead over the Oakland A’s in the race for fourth place.

The win went to Nick Tropeano (3-3), who went 5.1 innings, yielding two earned runs on seven hits. He struck out five and walked none.

This time, the Angel bullpen didn’t open the door to a comeback by the Tigers. Four relievers gave up a total of three hits and no runs.

Next up for the Angels will be another game in Detroit on Wednesday, with Shohei Ohtani (4-1) making the start for the Halos.

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