Mark Trumbo continued his quest to be named the American League’s top rookie Tuesday night, lifting the Los Angeles Angels to a 10-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.
Trumbo finished 2-for-5 with four RBIs, including driving in the game-winning run in the third. The young first baseman also hit a towering three-run home run in the fourth, his 29th of the season.
After a walk-off victory the night before, Toronto’s (78-76) loss on Tuesday hurts its chance of matching last year’s 85-77 record.
Brett Cecil (4-10) took the mound for the Bluebirds and had a strong start, striking out the Angels side in the first inning, giving up only a single to Alberto Callaspo.
After struggling in the next two innings, Cecil was replaced by Kyle Drabek in the top of the fourth. The starter gave up four earned runs on six hits with only three strikeouts in three innings, taking the loss.
Drabek didn’t fair any better, giving up five earned runs in only two innings of work.
Both teams took advantage of some lacklustre fielding as Edwin Encarnacion drove in Mike McCoy in the first after a fielding mishap by Mike Trout. That put the Jays shortstop on second and Eric Thames on first when Encarnacion hit a single.
The Angels (84-70) meanwhile remain five games behind the Boston Red Sox in the wild card hunt, and are still only four games back of the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.
Cecil’s counterpart Joel Pineiro (7-7) wasn’t flashy but pitched a solid game. He finished his six innings giving up four earned runs on nine hits. He struck out three, walked two and earned the win.
Ex-Jay Vernon Wells enjoyed his trip back to Toronto, hitting a solo shot off of Cecil in the second inning to tie the game 1-1. It was his 23rd of the year, and the centre fielder finished the game going 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
The Jays responded in the bottom of the inning when McCoy hit into a fielder’s choice that cashed in Colby Rasmus, giving the Bluebirds a 2-1 edge.
It all went south after that as the Angels drove in three runs in the third, and five in the fourth. The Jays suffered from the same poor defence that plagued Los Angeles early on.
First, Howard Kendrick hit a ground rule double off Jose Bautista’s glove after he failed to make a catch in right field, scoring Callaspo. Then Erick Aybar was able to get home after a wild pitch from Drabek that J.P. Arencibia had trouble handling, making the score 9-2 after four.
The Jays tried to make things interesting in the seventh inning, with Encarnacion, Kelly Johnson and Brett Lawrie each driving in a run but ultimately came up short.
After Toronto added another run in the bottom of the ninth, former Jays reliever Scott Downs came in to get the final out, picking up his first save of the year for the Angels.
The two teams will meet up again to close out the series Wednesday night (7:07 p.m. ET), with Dustin McGowan facing Dan Haren.