Sandoval (4-8) threw 97 pitches, struck out nine, walked none and didn’t allow a runner past first base as the Angels ended a three-game skid.
“I’m usually at 97 pitches after four innings, so this was awesome,” Sandoval said. “I thought I was fighting my stuff in the first four or five innings, but everything clicked after that.”
The 25-year-old left-hander retired 12 straight batters before Victor Reyes singled with one out in the ninth. Sandoval then got Riley Greene to ground into a game-ending double play, the third the Angels turned behind him.
“I felt great, but I also got a lot of help from my infielders,” Sandoval said. “They made every play, and that last double play was huge.”
The Tigers have the worst offense in baseball, averaging 3.2 runs per game, but manager A.J. Hinch said Sandoval deserved all the credit.
“He was really good, obviously,” Hinch said. “We were never able to put any pressure on him, and when it felt like we might get a little momentum in the ninth, he got another double play.”
Mike Trout returned to the Angels’ lineup after missing 28 games with rib cage inflammation. He went 1-for-4 with a single.
“I thought he had some really good swings, especially for a guy who hasn’t faced live pitching in over a month,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “He hammered that single to left and the ball he hit to right in the ninth is probably a triple if doesn’t land foul by an inch.”
Shohei Ohtani, who totaled seven hits in his previous two games, went 0 for 3 with a walk. The two-way star is scheduled to pitch Sunday’s series finale.
Matt Manning (0-1) took a tough-luck loss, working seven innings and allowing three hits and a walk as the Tigers dropped their 10th of 12 games.
“Matt Manning is a legit major-league pitcher and we’re seeing that showcased in his recent performances,” Hinch said. “He was electric tonight and it was good to see him go into attack mode.
“He’s someone we’re going to build with.”
Manning’s only mistake was a 1-0 changeup he left over the middle of the plate to Walsh, who sent it over the wall in right field.
“I have confidence in all my pitches and I think every one of them was working tonight,” he said. “I made one mistake – if that pitch is two inches lower, it is probably a ground ball.”
The Tigers reinstated LHP Eduardo Rodriguez from the restricted list and designated RHP Wily Peralta for assignment. Rodriguez is scheduled to start on Sunday – his first appearance since leaving the team in early June to deal with family issues.
To make room for Trout, the Angels optioned OF Steven Duggar to Triple-A Salt Lake.
A FAMILIAR SIGHT
Nevin, who played for the Tigers and spent four years with them as a minor league manager, wasn’t surprised by what he saw from Manning.
“I’ve seen him pitch against my son (Tyler) in the minors, and he is every bit as good as I remembered,” Nevin said. “That kid was throwing the heck out of the ball out there.”