In a season of superb performances, Sunday was a day to remember for Angels rookie Mike Trout. First he made the All-Star game. Then he went out and blasted a game-changing homer.
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Trout hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, Mark Trumbo and Alberto Callaspo added two-run shots and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-6 on Sunday, bouncing back from an 11-2 defeat the day before.
”I think our team showed a lot of character this afternoon,” manager Mike Scioscia said. ”It was a good win.”
Trout led off the eighth with a blast to center against Francisco Cordero (3-5) as the Angels spoiled Toronto’s Canada Day party and disappointed the crowd of 34,853.
”That was a huge situation in the game,” Trumbo said of his young teammate’s timely drive. ”Great two-strike approach, stayed short, got a hanging slider and totally shifted the momentum back in our favor. It came at just the right time.”
One out later, Albert Pujols singled and Trumbo followed with a drive to left, his 20th homer this season.
Trout, who went 2 for 4 with a walk and scored three times and raised his AL-leading average to .339, said making his first All-Star team was ”just an unbelievable feeling.”
Trumbo said no player has had a bigger impact on the Angels’ turnaround than the 20-year-old Trout.
”He’s got all five tools, without a doubt,” Trumbo said.
Jason Isringhausen (3-0) worked one inning for the win despite allowing J.P. Arencibia’s tying home run in the seventh, and Los Angeles earned a split in the four-game series.
Colby Rasmus hit a three-run homer off Jordan Walden in the ninth, his 15th, but it wasn’t enough for Toronto.
The Angels snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 15-3 in their past 18 road games.
Los Angeles opened the scoring in the first thanks to a defensive miscue by Rajai Davis, who started in right field in place of Jose Bautista. Trout led off with a double and tagged up on Pujols’ one-out fly ball to right, coming around to score when Davis dropped the ball.
Callaspo made it 3-0 with a two-run shot to left in the fifth, his sixth of the season and second this series.
The Blue Jays chased Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson and scored two runs in a controversial sixth.
Omar Vizquel walked, Brett Lawrie singled and Colby Rasmus walked to load the bases for Bautista, who hit a grounder to second that eluded Howie Kendrick. Vizquel scored and Rasmus ran from second to third but Lawrie didn’t react, finally breaking for the plate as Rasmus approached the bag.
Kendrick threw home just as Lawrie crashed into catcher John Hester, appearing to lift his forearms prior to the collision and striking Hester across the face. That brought Mike Scioscia out of the dugout for a furious argument with plate umpire James Hoye, one that ended with the Angels manager being ejected for the third time this season.
”In 35 years, I’ve never seen a catcher get bowled over at the plate, hold the ball and the runner be called safe,” Scioscia said. ”Never seen it.”
It was the second time Scioscia had left the dugout to argue with Hoye; the two also exchanged words in the fourth after Hoye appeared to change a strike call to a ball, granting Edwin Encarnacion a walk.
A former catcher, Scioscia said he didn’t have a problem with Lawrie’s hard slide and the resulting collision with Hester.
”Not at all,” he said. ”I think it’s a hard baseball play. Lawrie sensed the timing was against him and he’s a competitor, he’s going to go try to dislodge the ball and see if he can’t be safe.”
Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher was seen yelling across the field to Lawrie following the play.
”I couldn’t tell what he was trying to say,” Lawrie said. ”He was directing it at me but I didn’t know what he was trying to say. I couldn’t read his lips.”
Blue Jays manager John Farrell described the exchange between Lawrie and Butcher as ”a heat of the moment type of thing.”
When play resumed, Wilson walked Encarnacion a second time and was replaced by LaTroy Hawkins. Yunel Escobar flied to right and Rasmus was thrown out at home by Torii Hunter before pinch hitter Adam Lind ended the rally by grounding out.
Toronto tied it in the seventh when Arencibia connected off Isringhausen, his 11th, but Trout and Trumbo’s homers in the eighth put the Angels ahead for good.
Los Angeles capped it with a four-run ninth. Hunter hit a sacrifice fly, Pujols and Peter Bourjos added RBI singles and Kendrys Morales drove in a run with a fielder’s choice.
Wilson failed to extend his winning streak to six games, allowing two runs, one earned, and three hits in five innings. The left-hander, who has not lost since May 17 against the Chicago White Sox, walked five and struck out three.
”I was really just kind of chasing my delivery all day today,” Wilson said.
Toronto left-hander Aaron Laffey allowed three runs, two earned, and four hits in six innings. He walked none and struck out four.
NOTES: Bautista was picked for the AL’s All-Star starting lineup before the game, his third selection. Bautista will be the lone Blue Jays representative, with Encarnacion overlooked. … Trumbo was one of four Angels players chosen as All-Star reserves, joining Trout, Wilson and RHP Jered Weaver. … 2B Kelly Johnson was held out of Toronto’s starting lineup and replaced by Vizquel. … Toronto signed RHP Chase DeJong, their second round pick in last month’s draft.