ANAHEIM -- With a hitter's count in the bottom of the 13th, Mark Trumbo got the changeup he was looking for and deposited it over the left-field wall, giving the Angels a 4-3 walk-off win over the Tigers.
With that, an Angels team that had lost 10 of its first 14 games got back on track with a weekend sweep over the reigning American League champs.
"It's pretty well-chronicled that we've been struggling a little bit early on," Trumbo said. "But three wins against a team of this caliber, it's an excellent sign."
With all the attention given to Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, Trumbo has quietly gotten off to a fast start. Trumbo has a hit in 15 of the Angels' 17 games and has reached base in all of them. On Sunday, his only hit came on a 3-1 changeup that Phil Coke left out over the plate.
"It was the right pitch," said Coke, who has allowed four hits to Trumbo in four at-bats against him. "It was just two balls too high and found the barrel. If he's out there guessing, he guessed right. My hat's off to him, because he swung at the right speed and hit it a long way."
C.J. Wilson flirted with disaster to start the game, but kept the Tigers contained through six innings and the bullpen pitched seven scoreless to finish the team's first sweep of 2013.
"It's a heck of a club over there," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, whose team is now 7-10. "Today, you can't say enough about what our pitching staff and our bullpen did to keep us in the game and match those guys pitch for pitch. [They] worked around some trouble, and in the end got a big hit."
Wilson admittedly didn't have his best stuff, but the left-hander battled to keep his team in the game, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks.
"The one thing I liked with C.J. today is the first inning he got out [of a jam], and in the second, he minimized damage," Scioscia said.
The Tigers loaded the bases in each of the first two innings, prompting Wilson to throw 57 pitches, but they were only able to score once. After struggling early, Wilson settled down. Except for a walk to Torii Hunter and a two-run home run to Prince Fielder, Wilson retired 12 of the 14 batters he faced after the second.
"I was missing with my breaking ball a lot early," Wilson said. "It was breaking way too big, then I couldn't throw my curveball for a strike and my changeup was kind of a non-factor. I just had to go out there with [a] fastball, slider and cutter and compete."
Because of a postponed game, a scheduled off-day and quality starts by Tommy Hanson and Garrett Richards, the Angels' bullpen entered Sunday's contest having thrown a combined five innings in the previous four days. On Sunday, Dane De La Rosa, Sean Burnett, Ernesto Frieri, Scott Downs and Jerome Williams shut down the Tigers for the final 21 outs, with Williams keeping them scoreless for three frames.
"With Sean Burnett throwing the ball to his capabilities, Scott Downs starting to get in the fold and Ernesto Frieri throwing the ball very well -- and that's happened the last couple weeks -- we're starting to see [the bullpen] emerge," Scioscia said. "Hopefully we are going to start to define some roles better and get the production we need to hold leads. Today, they were terrific."
Prior to the 13th, all of the Angels offense had come in a third inning that consisted of two hit by pitches, a sacrifice bunt, three grounders -- one of which Trout legged out for an infield single -- and a double. Pujols' two-run double was the only ball to leave the infield, but the Angels scrapped out three runs during the frame.
Over the next nine innings, the Angels went scoreless and were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
But their bullpen kept them in the game and Trumbo ended it.
"It's awesome personally, but [what's] better is that the team is able to get a win," Trumbo said of his fourth career walk-off homer. "You fight that hard, you want to be able to come out on top."
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.