Bobby Abreu redeemed himself for an earlier mistake in the field with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning to extend the Blue Jays' struggles in Anaheim.
The left-handed hitting veteran lined an opposite-field base hit on a 2-2 pitch from usually reliable relief pitcher Scott Downs to cap a 6-5 win for the Los Angeles Angels over Toronto on Wednesday night.
"I wanted to be in that situation," Abreu said. "We played a very good game, and I'm the one who screwed up in the ninth with that fly ball.
"It was my fault. I called for it late. I don't have to blame anybody but myself. You don't want to lose a game like that, so coming back from that and winning the game was perfect."
Reed shines again
Jeremy Reed continues to make like Fred Lewis in the left-fielder's absence.
The recent AAA call-up delivered his second big hit in as many days Wednesday with a two-out, two-run single in the second inning to give the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead over the Los Angeles Angels in a game they would lose 6-5.
Reed, batting leadoff, also belted his first home run of the season in Tuesday's 8-3 setback.
Lewis is nursing a bunion problem on his left foot that isn't considered serious, according to Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston. He needed surgery to remove one from his right foot in 2008.
With an off-day Thursday, Lewis will likely be back in the lineup Friday when Toronto kicks off a nine-game homestand against Baltimore.
He is batting .320 in May, leads the American League with 11 doubles this month and is tied in extra-base hits with 15.
It was the first run Downs had allowed since April 27 against Boston, a span of 13 appearances covering 13 2/3 innings, the longest scoreless streak by a Blue Jays reliever this season.
It also marked just the fourth time this season, and first in 12 May outings, that Downs allowed two hits in a game, preventing Toronto from winning its first series at Anaheim since taking two of three on May 17-18, 2006.
In the ninth, the left-handed Downs served up a leadoff double to hot-hitting Angels catcher Mike Napoli, who is batting .417 over his last seven games.
After Maicer Izturis's groundout to first base moved Napoli to third, Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston had Downs intentionally walk pinch-hitter Juan Rivera and Erick Aybar to load the bases.
Toronto shortstop Alex Gonzalez made a pretty defensive play against the next batter, Howie Kendrick. He scooped up a grounder, spun around and threw the ball from his knees to catcher Jose Molina to erase Napoli at home for the second out of the inning, before Abreu's heroics.
"There's no room for error with the intentional walks," said Downs, who saw his record slip to 1-4 this season. "I made a pitch to get the first ground ball, then I made a decent pitch to Abreu and he hit it.
"He and I have faced each other a lot and had a lot of battles. I wanted action on that pitch and not go 3-2, especially with a guy like him and the eye he has at the plate. He's a professional hitter."
In the top of the ninth, Abreu broke late on a Gonzalez fly ball and watched the ball bounce off the heel of his glove for a two-base error. Two batters later, John Buck stroked a double down the left-field line off Angels closer Brian Fuentes (2-1) to tie the game 5-5.
Los Angeles starter Joel Pineiro handed a 5-3 lead to an Angels bullpen that began the night with a 5.36 earned-run average on the season, but the Blue Jays cut the margin in half in the seventh.
Kevin Jepsen struck out Gonzalez to start the inning and then allowed a single to Jose Bautista. After Jepsen fanned Buck, Edwin Encarnacion drilled an 0-1 pitch to the gap in left-centre to score Bautista from first.
Pineiro, making his first start versus Toronto since July 2006 and coming off his fifth loss in eight decisions, set down the Blue Jays in order in the first inning. But the right-hander gave up three runs in the second on three walks and a two-run single by left-fielder Jeremy Reed.
"It's weird, because I wasn't getting hit around. It was just the walks," Pineiro said. "[Injured catcher] Jeff Mathis was telling me: 'What are you doing? The ball is moving so much.' I couldn't control it. Maybe I was just guiding it so much. But after that inning I kind of settled down and all of my pitches came around. Then I was back to being myself again."
Staked to an early lead, Toronto starter Brandon Morrow had his fastball working and escaped some early wildness by striking out four in the first two innings.
But back-to-back walks to Michael Ryan and Aybar in the third came back to haunt the first-year Blue Jay as Kendrick followed with a run-scoring double and Abreu hit a sacrifice fly that cut the deficit to 3-2.
The Angels drew even in the fourth and Morrow was chased after allowing three runs (all earned) on three hits in five innings pitched, and saw his ERA soar to 6.66.
Designated hitter Hideki Matsui gave the home side its first lead of the night in the sixth inning with a two-run home run to right-centre off Toronto reliever Rommie Lewis.
The Blue Jays did not get more than four hits against any of the Angels' starting pitchers in this three-game series, including Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana.
Toronto finished 3-5 on its eight-game road trip and dropped to fourth place in the American League East standings with a 27-22 record, a half-game behind third-place Boston (27-21), which downed division-leading Tampa Bay 11-3 on Wednesday.
The Blue Jays are off Thursday before opening a nine-game homestand on Friday against Baltimore at 7:07 p.m. ET.