Blue Jays survive angels in slugfest to sweep 4-game series

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani crushed two early homers, but they didn’t get up.

Neither against the daily relentlessness of the Toronto Blue Jays squad, nor against the incompetence of the Los Angeles Angels pitching staff.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled the tiebreaker in the eighth inning at home for his season-high fifth RBI, and the Blue Jays overcame Ohtani’s final power surge to complete a four-game sweep over the Angels. with an 11-10 win on Sunday.

Raimel Tapia added three RBIs and Bo Bichette hit an tying eighth homer for Toronto, which capped its first four-game sweep against the Angels in 30 years with its most scoring performance of the season. After struggling at the plate early in the season, the Jays have scored 35 runs in their last five games.

“It feels good to start and play like we know we can,” Bichette said. “If they score, we have to go out and be ready to score.”

Toronto blew a four-run lead and Los Angeles blew a three-run lead in a wild game with 25 combined hits and highlighted early on by Ohtani’s latest show of power.

“It’s one of those days (when) you’re a pitcher, you don’t want to go there, but you want to see how it’s going to end,” said Jose Berrios, who gave up both Ohtani outbursts.

Ohtani hit a solo homer in the first inning and a two-run shot in the third for his ninth career multi-homer game. The AL MVP has seven homers in May and 11 this season.

Taylor Ward hit a two-run homer and an RBI double for the Angels, who have lost a season-high five straight and nine of 12 after their perennially mediocre pitching team’s latest struggles. Toronto raked the Angels’ pitchers for 13 hits and eight walks, even without sluggers Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernández in the starting lineup.

“A bunch of guys have been really good, collectively all of a sudden it’s tough,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of his bullpen. “And I don’t have any answers to that. There was a lot of support and conversations. … Right now you don’t know what to expect.

Max Stassi hit a hit in the seventh against Adam Cimber (6-2) and drove in three runs on four hits, but the Halos finished 3-6 on a nine-game homestand. While Ohtani reached base four times, Mike Trout went 0 for 5 for the first time this season.

Moments after Bichette tied it with his solo shot against Ryan Tepera, the Blue Jays retook the lead in Gurriel’s RBI double against Jose Quijada (0-1), who hadn’t pitched in the majors since the April 7. Oliver Ortega also struggled, giving up three runs and three hits while getting three out before Tepera came out.

Patrick Sandoval was no better than his bullpen, getting five earned runs over three innings in his worst start to the season for the Angels.

Toronto won even after Berrios allowed six runs on six hits while getting just seven outs. Ohtani crushed Berrios’ curveball 413 feet into the elevated right-field bleachers in the first, ending the AL MVP’s 0-for-10 slide.

After Ohtani connected for a 425-foot homer at the ficus beyond center in the third, Stassi tied it with a two-run single.

Ward then came out in the fourth with his 10th home run of the season and his first on a homestand he barely played in after hitting the outside wall in the opener. He added a scoring double in the sixth.

“There’s no giving up in us,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “(The sweep) means a lot more because of the quality of the game (of the Angels). It’s a good team there.

Toronto rallied for three runs to tie in the seventh, sandwiching Tapia’s RBI single between base-laden walks for Gurriel and Hernández from the struggling Tepera.

David Phelps pitched the ninth for his first save since 2019.

LATE HELP

Guerrero, who has a sore left wrist, was intentionally walked around as a batter in the eighth. Hernández, who has a minor hip injury, walked in the seventh and singled in the ninth.

LITTLE LEAGUE HOMER

Luis Rengifo hat-tricked into the right corner and scored for Los Angeles in the second when Santiago Espinal’s throw ended up in the net.

HARD DAY

Andrew Velazquez, who made an atrocious early pitching error, went 0 for 5. He also made the final in a one-run loss to the Angels for the second straight night.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: Guerrero was in the initial starting lineup, but was eliminated. Thanks to his eighth inning, the slugger has missed just one game this season, and just two of Toronto’s last 269 games dating to 2020.

Angels: Although Ward can’t throw at full strength, he still played right field for the first time since suffering a sting and losing strength when he hit a wall nine years ago days.

NEXT

Blue Jays: After a day off, Toronto will likely send Kevin Gausman (4-3, 2.25) to the mound on Tuesday when the Chicago White Sox visit Rogers Center.

Angels: After a day off, Noah Syndergaard (4-2, 3.08 ERA) is set to return to New York on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium when the Halos begin a six-game trip to the East Coast.

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