The Angels look to push their winning streak to four when they host the Blue Jays in the opener of a three-game series.
Anaheim completed a sweep of struggling Cleveland on Sunday, as John Lackey pitched 7 1-3 innings and gave up just two hits for a 2-1 victory, pulling his team within three games of first-place Oakland in the division. The Angels are also chasing Boston, which swept them in a crucial three-game set just before the Indians series, for the wild-card berth.
“I was really down in the zone all day and really locating well for the most part,” said Lackey, who earned his 12th win. “It’s always nice to contribute when you’re in a pennant race.”
Troy Glaus homered for Anaheim, which has won 15 of its last 20 games.
With last-place Toronto coming to town, Anaheim might appear to be in position to keep rolling, but the Angels have had little success against the Blue Jays the past two seasons. The Angels lost seven of nine to the Jays in 2003, and were swept May 24-27 in the first meeting this season, with each Toronto win decided by one run.
The Blue Jays averted a three-game sweep by the Athletics on Sunday, helping the Angels in the process with a 13-5 victory. Rookie Gabe Gross hit a grand slam and had five RBIs, and Toronto took advantage of five Oakland errors.
“All the newcomers had good games. It was a nice win against a good team,” Gross said. “We’re taking our lumps right now, but hopefully it’s going to pay dividends in the future.”
Carlos Delgado homered and drove in two runs for the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays are opening a six-game road trip, while the Angels begin a stretch of six straight at home.
STANDINGS (through Sept. 5): Blue Jays - 5th place, 27 1/2 GB, AL East. Angels - 2nd place, 3 GB, AL West.
BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: David Bush (3-3, 3.66 ERA). The 24-year-old right-hander has allowed more than three earned runs only twice in 11 starts this season. He is coming off an outstanding seven-inning, two-run, six-strikeout performance in a 4-2 win over Seattle on Wednesday. Bush will be making his first career start against Anaheim.
ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Bartolo Colon (13-11, 5.44 ERA). After winning eight of nine starts, Colon has lost his last two outings, allowing nine earned runs in 10 2-3 innings. The big right-hander lasted only 4 2-3 innings Thursday, giving up four runs and 10 hits in a 4-3 loss to Boston. Colon is 7-3 with four complete games and a 4.03 ERA in 14 career starts against Toronto.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Blue Jays - Alexis Rios, .297 avg.; Delgado, 26 HRs and 80 RBIs; Vernon Wells, 63 runs; Eric Hinske, 10 SBs. Angels - Vladimir Guerrero, .330 avg., 28 HRs, 102 RBIs and 102 runs; Chone Figgins, 27 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: 3-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Blue Jays - Sunday’s starter, RHP Ryan Glynn, was the 23rd pitcher used by Toronto this season, one short of the club record. … 1B Delgado is 11-for-36 (.306) with five doubles and a HR against Colon. … CF Wells is hitting .316 (5-for-16) with one HR and one double against Colon. Angels - The team is awaiting test results on LF Jose Guillen’s swollen right wrist. Guillen was sent home Saturday to see what’s wrong with the wrist, which has been sore for two weeks. … CF Anderson has hit in 21 of his last 23 games. … RF Guerrero is batting .336 (48-for-143) with eight HRs and 21 RBIs in 37 games against the Blue Jays.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jays - 22-43 on the road; Angels - 38-28 at home.
INJURIES: Blue Jays - OF Frank Catalanotto (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Roy Halladay (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Valerio De Los Santos (shoulder), 60-day DL; C Bobby Estalella (ankle), 60-day DL; C Greg Myers (ankle), 60-day DL. Angels - INF Robb Quinlan (oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Bobby Jenks (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Tim Salmon (shoulder), 60-day DL.