Streaking Blue Jays look to keep Angels down (Jul 28, 2017)
TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels will meet at Rogers Centre on Friday night after being on opposite sides of series sweeps.
Friday's game is the opener of a three-game set with Toronto's J.A. Happ (3-7, 4.13 ERA) facing Los Angeles' Parker Bridwell (4-1, 3.09).
The Blue Jays are coming off a four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics, with the final two victories coming as the result of game-ending home runs. It was the first time in franchise history they had won back-to-back games in such fashion.
They completed the sweep Thursday on a grand slam by Steve Pearce with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning.
The Angels, meanwhile, were swept by the Cleveland Indians in a three-game series that was completed Thursday with Cleveland's 2-1 victory at Progressive Field.
The Angels, who were swept for the first time since April 14-16 against the Kansas City Royals, dropped to five games below .500 for the first time this season.
"We just had a tough series," Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols said. "The road trip is not over. We need to go to Toronto and try to win tomorrow and hopefully win the series. I think that's the way that I look at this team. Everybody just goes out there and gives everything that they have. We're not throwing in the towel. We have a lot of games left."
"Every single game, we were there with them," said Angels outfielder Ben Revere, who was with the Blue Jays for part of the 2015 season. "We just can't get a break."
The Angels (49-54) are 7-12 in July. The Blue Jays (48-54), who have won four in a row after a 3-7 road trip, are 11-12 for the month.
The Blue Jays have had only one winning month this season when they went 18-10 in May. They are hoping they can make a surge that can revive their faint postseason hopes. The Angels also have similar hopes, which makes the series so important since they would be competing for wild-card spots.
Los Angeles is 5 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot while Toronto is six back.
"Hopefully we just keep the ball rolling," Pearce said. "We're getting down to the end of the season, so we've got to step it up. And this was a great series (against Oakland) to get it started."
Happ will be looking for his first win since July 4 at Yankee Stadium.
The left-hander is 0-2 with a 6.60 ERA in three starts since his last win and the Blue Jays are 0-3 in those starts. He allowed four runs in the first inning Sunday in an 8-1 loss to Cleveland at Progressive Field. He allowed nine hits and seven runs.
He has not had much success against the Angels, going 1-5 with a 6.52 ERA in six career starts.
Bridwell will be making his ninth appearance (eighth start) of the season and fourth on the road in his first career appearance against the Blue Jays.
He earned the win against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday after tossing a career-high seven innings, allowing two runs and five hits with one walk. He had three strikeouts. He lost his no-hitter with two outs in fifth inning on a single by Sandy Leon.
In three starts on the road this season, is 2-0 with a 2.04 ERA. The Angels are 7-1 in the games he has pitched, and he has allowed two runs or fewer in five of his past six starts. He is 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA in his past three outings.