Blue Jays rally in 9th inning for 4-3 victory over Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Lourdes Gurriel Jr. didn’t have his cleanest fielding performance. He came through at the plate when was needed the most, though.
Which kind of sums up the Toronto Blue Jays Friday night.
Gurriel had one of Toronto’s three errors, but his single in the ninth inning helped score Alejandro Kirk with the winning run as the Blue Jays rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels had only error, but it was costly. Gurriel lined a base hit to right field to move Kirk to third, and he scored when Juan Lagares misplayed the ball and had it bounce off his glove.
“I thought it was gonna be hard for Kirk to score on that, but once I saw that he bobbled it I knew that we had a good chance to score right there,” Gurriel said.
Gurriel had three hits and drove in a run, while Kirk had two hits. Kirk led off the ninth with a single to center against Raisel Iglesias (1-3) and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, setting the table for Gurriel.
The Blue Jays’ errors included a throwing miscue by Gurriel on a double by Mike Trout, but they were able to get their seventh win in the last 10 games.
“We didn’t play good defense at the beginning, but we made the right moves and the pitching was good,” manager Charlie Montoyo said.
Jared Walsh and Tyler Wade homered for the Angels, who were missing injured Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon from the starting lineup. Wade was in the lineup at third base in Rendon’s absence.
Ohtani came on as a pinch-hitter in the ninth but was struck out by Jordan Romano, who earned his 15th save. Trevor Richards (2-0) got the win.
Toronto starter Alek Manoah struck out a season-high nine but allowed three runs on seven hits, including two home runs. With a fastball-slider combination, the right-hander made Angels’ hitters swing and miss 19 times.
“The game plan past couple outings has been putting guys away with the slider. I yanked a few, but overall the game plan worked,” he said.
Los Angeles’ Chase Silseth went 4 1/3 innings and yielded two runs on six hits. The Angels have dropped three straight.
“We just aren’t hitting up to our standards right now,” manager Joe Maddon said. “They got us at the end and they beat some of our better relief pitchers.”
Toronto’s Bo Bichette led off the second inning with a ground-rule double into the right-field corner. He advanced to third on Teoscar Hernandez’s base hit and scored when Kirk grounded into a double play.
The Angels responded in the bottom of the inning when Andrew Velazquez’s bloop single down the left-field line drove in Luis Rengifo to tie it at 1. Rengifo got aboard when he lined a hit to center and advanced to second when Raimel Tapia had it roll between his legs for an error.
Walsh hit his 10th homer in the third inning when he hit a changeup from Manoah that barely got over the wall in center. Toronto led off the fifth with three straight hits, including an RBI double from Gurriel to even it at 2-all.
Los Angeles regained the lead in the home half on Wade’s solo shot to right. It was Wade’s first homer since Sept. 26, 2020, when he was with the New York Yankees.
Toronto tied it in the seventh on pinch-hitter Matt Chapman’s RBI single.
Tapia was on third base with one out in the fifth when George Springer hit a line drive that was foul but hit Tapia in the leg. After being looked at by trainers, Tapia stayed in the game before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh inning.
Toronto had four outfielders on most of Trout’s at-bats, with second baseman Cavan Biggio shifting to right field. Trout made them pay with a double down the left-field line in the fifth inning.
Left fielder Gurriel threw the ball to second but no one was covering, allowing Trout to move to third on the error. Trout appeared to give the Angels a 4-2 lead when he scored on a fielder’s choice, but replay overturned the call and ruled that Bichette’s throw to Kirk made it in time.
Montoyo said after the game that first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. should have followed Trout to second to make sure the base was covered.
Blue Jays: LHP Tayler Saucedo (right hip discomfort) continued his throwing progression by going from 120 feet.
Angels: Ohtani was out of the lineup due to back discomfort. ... Rendon had an MRI on his right wrist after feeling increased soreness.
Blue Jays: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (2-1, 3.47 ERA) has held opposing hitters to a .111 batting average in four May starts.
Angels: RHP Michael Lorenzen (5-2, 3.05 ERA) has won his last two starts. He threw six innings of three-hit ball in his last outing on May 14 against Oakland.
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