ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Many Rookie of the Year winners struggle in their sophomore seasons. Michael Fulmer does not appear to be one of them.

The reigning American League Rookie of the Year continued his exemplary pitching Thursday night, allowing the Los Angeles Angels three hits in seven innings to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 7-1 win at Angel Stadium.

Two of the three hits were opposite-field flares and the third an infield single, and the lone Angels run came home thanks to a funky bounce. Fulmer, who was 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA last season, improved to 4-1 this season, and his ERA dipped to 2.54.

Justin Upton and Andrew Romine slugged early home runs to stake Fulmer to a quick 5-0 lead. Upton hit a three-run homer to center field in the first inning, and Romine shot a two-run bullet down the right field line in the second. Ian Kinsler had three hits in his first game back after missing five with a hamstring strain.

Fulmer has gone six or more innings in every start this season.

"I keep pitching until Brad (Ausmus, the Tigers manager) tells me I'm done, and sometimes I'll try and avoid him," Fulmer said with a grin. "The deeper the starter can go, the better chances you have of being on the right side of the scoreboard. I want to go deep every time and try to create weak contact as long as I'm in the game."

Weak contact describes the Angels' attack Thursday -- and their problems of late. They have scored three runs or fewer in 11 of their past 18 games.

Ausmus said Fulmer was as good as, if not better than, he was in his last start -- when he gave up one run in eight innings during a win against Oakland.

"He picked up where he left off," Ausmus said. "They didn't square up many balls, didn't have a lot of hard contact."

Angels starter JC Ramirez (3-3) had allowed just three runs in his three previous starts covering 18-plus innings, but five of the first eight Tigers had a hit before he settled down. He went seven innings, allowing a only single in his last four innings.

Ramirez wound up yielding five runs on eight hits and a walk with four strikeouts.

"His start came down to a couple of pitches," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He left a slider over the plate to Upton and a fastball in to Romine. Other than that, he settled in and pitched the way we expected."

The Angels, who are 2-7 in their last nine games, have scored 12 runs in Ramirez's six starts.

"We have a handful of guys who are struggling with their rhythm," Scioscia said. "I know we will be better on offense, but right now our on-base percentage is low, and when we're getting runners in scoring position, we're not getting that key hit."

Angels star Mike Trout made his first start after missing five games due to tightness in his left hamstring. He returned as the designated hitter and went 0-for-4 to snap his career-high 17-game hitting streak.

"We consulted with the medical staff and thought DH was a better transition (for his return)," Scioscia said. "We need to keep him loose between at-bats. This way he doesn't have to expand his trying to run balls down gap to gap."

With Trout the DH, Albert Pujols started at first base and went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Ramirez gave up soft singles to Kinsler and Nicholas Castellanos to start the first. He retired the next two batters, but Upton hit the next pitch over the center field fence to give Detroit a 3-0 lead. It was Upton's seventh home run of the season.

The Tigers made it 5-0 in the second inning as Romine pulled a 95 mph inside fastball down the right field line for a two-run shot. Romine was inserted into the lineup after Jim Adduci was a late scratch.

Ausmus said Adduci is headed to the disabled list with an oblique strain.

With two outs in the fifth, Los Angeles' Cliff Pennington worked a two-out walk and scored when Yunel Escobar's flair double to right took a funky bounce off the low wall in foul territory past Tyler Collins.

McCann had an RBI double in the eighth and Miguel Cabrera an RBI single in the ninth.

Escobar had three of the Angels' four hits.

NOTES: Los Angeles 1B C.J. Cron, who was on the disabled list with a foot injury, sustained a bruised hand when hit by a pitch during his rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake. His return to the majors may be delayed. ... Angels RHP Andrew Bailey (shoulder) and RHP Cam Bedrosian (groin) are still in the early stages of their throwing programs and not expected to be ready for any rehab starts anytime soon. ... Detroit RHP Francisco Rodriguez, whose career started in 2002 when he helped the Angels to the World Series title, lost his job as the Tigers' closer after blowing his third save in five outings. He pitched the ninth inning Thursday. His spot has been taken by LHP Justin Wilson. ... Detroit OF J.D. Martinez, who has been out all season with a sprained right foot, hit a home run in a rehab start Thursday night. He will rejoin the Tigers on Friday to replace injured OF Jim Adduci.