Angels shade Blue Jays in marathon match
Toronto manager John Farrell had two significant things to stew about after the Blue Jays lost 6-5 in 14 innings to the Los Angeles Angels.
One was the 18 runners they stranded Saturday night in a game that lasted 5 hours, 3 minutes, and the other was a disputed call by third base umpire Bob Davidson that prevented Toronto from taking a lead in the 13th.
"That was a tough game," Farrell said. "We created numerous opportunities, and yet we couldn't come up with a big hit. The bullpen, once again, did just an outstanding job with nine shutout innings."
Jason Bulger, the last reliever left in the Angels' bullpen, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 12th by retiring Jose Bautista on a flyball with the bases loaded.
In the 13th, the Blue Jays had two outs and runners at second and third when Edwin Encarnacion hit a slow grounder to the left of third baseman Alberto Callaspo, whose throw to first base pulled Brandon Wood off the bag as Adam Lind crossed the plate. But Davidson, the crew chief, ruled Yunel Escobar out for interfering with Callaspo, and Farrell came out for a long argument.
"Bob Davidson's interpretation of the play was that Callaspo's direction and timing on the ball was altered by Yunel going into third. I obviously disagreed with his view and judgment," Farrell said. "I would still argue the same play all over again.
"I saw that as a slow roller toward the hole and Yunel had his baseline established. He recognized that he's got to give right of way to the defensive player, but that ball was 10 feet away from him. I viewed it as Callaspo was unsure whether (Maicer) Izturis was going to cut him off, which is a very typical play for a shortstop. If that play would happen 10 more times, I'd still have the same thought."
Izturis hit an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the 14th and Howie Kendrick had his fourth homer in seven games for the Angels. Dan Haren (2-0), scheduled to start Monday night, retired all three batters he faced to get the win. He was the ninth Angels pitcher.
The relief appearance was the first by Haren since Oct. 3, 2004, with St. Louis, and ended a string of 203 consecutive starts by the right-hander.
Jon Rauch (0-1) struck out his first two batters in the 14th before Peter Bourjos hit a drive over the outstretched glove of left fielder Travis Snider for a double after Snider fell down. Izturis then lined an 0-2 pitch to right field to score Bourjos.
Angels starter Matt Palmer retired only 12 of his 24 batters through 4 2-3 innings. He was charged with five runs — four earned — and 10 hits after getting recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to fill in for injured Scott Kazmir.
Toronto grabbed a 5-4 lead in the fourth with three straight two-out hits, including a two-run single by Rajai Davis and an RBI single by Aaron Hill. Vernon Wells, who spent his first 12 big league seasons with the Blue Jays before he was traded to the Angels in January, cut off another run moments later when he fielded Bautista's single to left and made a perfect throw to the plate to get Hill.
The Angels tied it in the bottom half on Bourjos' sacrifice fly against lefty Brett Cecil, who gave up five runs and 10 hits over five innings.
The Angels, who stranded 55 runners in their first seven games, scored three times in the third to take a 4-2 lead. Izturis had a run-scoring single before Bobby Abreu and Wells came through with two-out RBI singles.
The hit by Wells snapped an 0-for-16 drought for the three-time All-Star, who has just two RBIs in 36 at-bats with his new club.
Kendrick, the second batter Cecil faced, drove an 0-2 pitch to left-centre for his 36th homer in 1,964 big league at-bats to that point. He didn't hit his fourth home run last season until his 51st game, and tied a career high with 10.
Kendrick finished 2010 with the second-most hits and RBIs among AL second basemen behind the Yankees' Robinson Cano.
"He's squared some balls up," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He has surprising power, but he's a strong guy. I think he's just into a streak right now. I mean, he's not going to be a 30-homer guy, but he certainly has the ability to hit 15 or 20. And he's off to a good start."