ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — After watching Ernesto Frieri blow two save opportunities on consecutive nights earlier this week at Texas, Angels manager Mike Scioscia decided that for a while he’d allow matchups to dictate who he calls out of the bullpen.
Scioscia brought Frieri in to get the final out of the eighth inning on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays, which he did by retiring Colby Rasmus with runners at first and second and the Angels clinging to a one-run lead.
But the right-hander struggled in the ninth again and gave way to Dane De La Rosa, whose bid for his first major league save was shattered with two-out RBI singles by Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion in a 6-5 loss.
“It’s always frustrating whenever you go out there and they give you the chance to compete, to help the team to win, and you don’t do your job,” said Frieri, who got the save in Friday night’s 7-5 win. “In the bullpen we need to keep working, keep fighting and we need to get better.”
The loss prevented the Angels from sweeping the Blue Jays in a four-game series for the first time and wasted another solid outing by C.J. Wilson. The left-hander pitched into the eighth inning and left with a 5-2 lead built with Mark Trumbo’s three-run homer and a solo shot by Mike Trout — both against Mark Buehrle.
The Blue Jays began their comeback with two runs in the eighth, including an RBI single by former Angel Maicer Izturis. Scioscia used five pitchers to get out of that inning — including Wilson.
“We tried to match-up late, and we didn’t get it done,” Scioscia said. “But I don’t think it was lost with anything that happened on the mound. We opened the door on the defensive side. They had five outs in the eighth inning and they took advantage of it.”
Frieri (0-4) gave up a single by Brett Lawrie and plunked No. 9 hitter J.P Arencibia to open the ninth. The Angels then caught Lawrie straying off second as Jose Reyes bunted through a pitch, and it looked like they had Lawrie tagged out in a rundown. But second base umpire Brian Knight called Lawrie safe diving back to the bag, provoking an argument by Scioscia and second baseman Erick Aybar.
“Jose was trying to get me over to third with the tying run and the pitch was in the zone,” Lawrie said. “Then I saw the ball go over the top of the bat, and I was in no man’s land. Then (catcher Chris Iannetta) backpicked me and there was nothing I could really do except get in a rundown. But it ended up working out for us.”
Frieri then retired Reyes on a flyout before De La Rosa came in and got Rajai Davis to hit a fielder’s choice grounder. But he didn’t get another out, and Daniel Stange got the third out after the damage was done.
Brett Cecil (5-1) got two outs to earn the victory and Casey Janssen retired the side in order in the ninth for his 19th save in 21 chances.
Wilson was charged with four runs — three earned — and eight hits in 7 1-3 innings, struck out seven and walked none.
The Angels pulled ahead 5-2 in the fourth with a four-run rally, marking the sixth time during this series that they scored three or more runs in an inning.
Trout drew a leadoff walk and Howie Kendrick singled before Trumbo drove an 0-2 pitch into the lower seats in the left field corner, becoming the eighth player in Angels history to hit at least 25 home runs in three consecutive seasons. One out later, Buehrle gave up consecutive doubles by Aybar and Iannetta.
The Blue Jays took a 2-1 lead in the third with four straight two-out singles, including run-scoring hits by Davis and Bautista. Both runs were earned despite two throwing errors — one by third baseman Chris Nelson after he charged in to barehand Reyes’ bunt hit, the other by first baseman Trumbo when he tied to get Davis at second after Wilson picked him off. Davis was credited with a stolen base.
“You have to play all 27 outs, and we gave them a couple extra chances today,” Wilson said.
NOTES: The Angels signed 31-year-old LHP Dontrelle Willis to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Salt Lake. The two-time All-Star and 2003 NL rookie of the year hasn’t appeared in a major league game since Sept. 25, 2011 with Cincinnati. He was pitching this season for the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League and started in their All-Star game. … The Angels have committed 83 errors, tying Milwaukee for the major league lead. … The only other time Buehrle and Wilson started in the same game was April 27, 2010, when Wilson got the win and Buehrle took the loss in the Texas Rangers’ 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox. … Izturis, who spent the previous eight seasons with the Angels before signing a three-year, $10 million contract with the Blue Jays in November as a free agent, was 2 for 11 with a walk in his first series against his former club.