(1st Game)

Friday, July 21, 1978 at Tiger Stadium
Game 1255 – 10/7/12

The Tigers wasted no time in proving who was the dominant force in tonight’s first game of a doubleheader at Tiger Stadium, erupting for 6 first-inning runs en route to an 11-3 lambasting of the Angels, who had been riding a modest two-game winning streak.

Steve Kemp began the opening onslaught with his 19th HR of the year, a solo shot off Angels starter Don Aase, who seemed rattled after the blast and—after a sharp line-out by Alan Trammell for the inning’s second out—proceeded to surrender six consecutive hits, with a walk sandwiched in-between, good for five more runs and a 6-0 Detroit advantage. One walk later, Aase was gone, after having pitched only 2/3 of an inning.

The Angels cut the deficit to 6-1 when number eight hitter Dave Machemer, playing in his first major league game, led off the California fifth with a gap double to left, his first career hit in his first official ML at-bat. Dave Chalk then followed with a single, scoring Machemer.

Detroit countered with two runs in the sixth, courtesy of catcher Milt May’s tenth home run on the season, a two-run blast that scored Kemp, who had reached first base via a walk. The Tigers would strike again in the eighth, scoring three when Johnny Wockenfuss cleared the bases with a two-out double off Tom Griffin, the fourth California pitcher of the game.

The Angels made one last desperate comeback bid in the ninth, scoring one on another Chalk RBI single, and another on a double by Carney Lansford. But Tiger starter Jim Slaton worked out of the two-on, two-out jam by inducing a ground-out from Ken Landreaux to end the game, earning Slaton (5-10) the win and his first complete game of the year.

CAL - Dave Machemer 1978 crop

Game Notes

• The game was played in the morning at site AZ8 in Peoria, Arizona, on the living room table while I listened to the first two sides of Out of the Blue by ELO.

• Slaton’s complete game was his first after 17 starts this season.

• Angels second baseman Dave Machemer (above, at Yankee Stadium), called up from the Salt Lake City Gulls on July 19th when infielder Jim Anderson was injured, doubled in his first official major league at-bat tonight in the fifth inning, after coaxing a walk from Tigers starter Jim Slaton in the second. In the actual 1978 season, Machemer made his ML debut on June 21st, and homered in his first at-bat off Twins starter Geoff Zahn. It would take five more at-bats for Machemer to homer in the SP78 season.


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