Blue Jays hope Sanchez pitches in vs. Angels

TORONTO — One of the main reasons the Toronto Blue Jays have had trouble winning after a solid start to the season is that their pitching rotation has been struggling.

One exception has been J.A. Happ. The Blue Jays won for the second time in nine games Tuesday night and the winning pitcher in each case was Happ.

The left-hander pitched seven strong innings for the second straight start Tuesday as the Blue Jays ended a four-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

Happ allowed two runs and three hits Tuesday and in his previous outing last Wednesday allowed two hits and struck out 10 in seven runless innings in the 12-1 victory over the New York Mets.

He has pitched seven innings in four starts this season.

The Blue Jays will be trying for their second win in a row Wednesday at the Rogers Centre in the second contest of the three-game series against the Angels, who also have been struggling.

Right-hander Aaron Sanchez (2-4, 4.47 ERA) will start for the Blue Jays against Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs (3-3, 2.88).

Sanchez is coming off a loss to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday when he allowed four runs and five hits while striking out eight in four innings. He will be making his 10th start of the season Wednesday and tries for his first win since April 30.

In two career games (one start) against the Angels, he is 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA.

Skaggs also will be making his 10th start of the season. He took the loss Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays after tossing six innings and allowing one earned run on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.

He has allowed two or fewer runs in eight of nine starts this season, including each of his past five starts.

In four career starts against the Blue Jays, he is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA. He earned the win in his only start against Toronto last season at Angel Stadium on April 22, allowing two earned runs in seven-plus innings.

The Blue Jays made one roster move for the series. Shortstop Richard Urena was returned to Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday and second baseman Devon Travis was recalled Tuesday. Travis made the start Tuesday and was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and is batting .141 with one home run with Toronto. He was optioned to Buffalo on April 29 and batted .210/.234/.274 with one home run and four RBIs in 14 games, finishing with an eight-game hit streak.

“I think when you go from the big leagues to Triple-A, it’s definitely a step back,” the 27-year-old said. “It’s tough and it gives you a little bit of time to reflect, look yourself in the mirror and understand there’s more work to be done. I think that’s the biggest thing I took from all of this.”

Travis has been hampered by injuries and has not played more than 101 games in a major league season as a result.

The Blue Jays (23-25) also had lost six straight at home before their win Tuesday and will be trying win their first winning series at the Rogers Centre since April 17-18, when they swept the Kansas City in three games.

The loss was only the fifth on the road this season by the Angels (26-22) against 14 wins.

The Blue Jays had all the breaks in winning for the first time on the seven-game homestand that they started by losing all four games to the Oakland Athletics.

They scored all five of their runs Tuesday in the first inning. Four of them were unearned because right fielder Chris Young was charged with an error when he could not catch a fly ball by Russell Martin. Two runs scored on the miscue.

“It was right in the lights,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Chris would have caught it if it wasn’t in the lights. He was going to his right and he got a great jump on it and tracked it. It just went right into the lights and never came out and he just had to kind or estimate where the ball was coming out and just got a glove on it and couldn’t handle it. It’s a tough break.”