Blue Jays 6, Angels 0
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—The Toronto Blue Jays might have found a fifth starter.
Corey Thurman scattered four hits over six scoreless innings in his second major league start, and Vernon Wells went 3-for-3 with two RBI singles as the Blue Jays beat the Anaheim Angels 6-1 Saturday night to end a four-game losing streak.
One night after snapping Roy Halladay’s 15-game winning streak with a 5-0 win, the defending World Series champions had no answer for Thurman (1-0) as they lost for the 13th time in 16 games since the All-Star break.
“The only thing I wanted to worry about tonight was just going pitch to pitch and out to out, and then just see where we are when I’m finished,” Thurman said. “In this game, you’re going to have good ones and you’re going to have bad ones. But if you take that approach, hopefully you’ll have more good ones than bad ones.”
The 24-year-old right-hander, who made 43 relief appearances last season as a rookie, was inserted into the rotation after two miserable outings by veteran John Wasdin—who was demoted to Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday.
Thurman threw 94 pitches, striking out five and walking two. His other start for Toronto was last Sept. 2, a 5-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox at SkyDome. He spent his entire minor league career as a starter, except for three relief appearances in 1998, going 47-44 with a 3.90 ERA.
“It wasn’t a different feeling, because that’s what I was doing in the minor leagues all year,” Thurman said. “It was a little more comfortable than it was making that start last year.”
Jarrod Washburn (8-11) lost for the sixth time in eight decisions. The left-hander threw 123 pitches in just 5 1-3 innings, allowing six runs—three earned—and nine hits.
Angels center fielder Darin Erstad, a two-time Gold Glove winner, punctuated his 1,000th major league game by robbing No. 9 hitter Chris Woodward of a leadoff home run in the third. But the Blue Jays scored four runs before the inning ended—three of them unearned as a result of third baseman Scott Spiezio’s throwing error.
“Darin’s a great fielder because he works hard at what he does and he takes pride in it. And that’s the kind of teammate that I enjoy playing with,” Angels left fielder Garret Anderson said. “His biggest asset is that he comes to play every day.”
Reed Johnson singled and scored the first run from second on a single by Carlos Delgado, his major league-leading 107th RBI. Spiezio, starting at third while Troy Glaus is on the disabled list, made a great pickup of Tom Wilson’s grounder on the short hop while on his knees—but threw wildly past first base as a run scored. Bobby Kielty drove in two more with a single.
Erstad, playing with a brace because of hamstring tendinitis behind his right knee, broke the brace while making a diving catch against Dave Berg and had to come out. The same thing happened on July 25 against Oakland after Erstad made a diving catch against Mark Ellis. But on that occasion, it was the third out, and Erstad was able to replace the brace before the Angels took the field again.
Wells singled home a run in the fourth, then added an RBI single in the sixth to increase his RBI total to 96—four shy of last year’s total. Delgado and Wells rank 1-2 in the AL in RBIs.
“It takes more than that to make a team, obviously. But if you narrow it down to Delgado and Wells, those guys are my pick for the best 1-2 punch in the game right now,” Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia said. “They’ve alreadycombined for over 200 RBIs, and they’re both hitting for a high average.”
Erstad joined RF Tim Salmon and Anderson on a list of eight players who have played at least 1,000 games in an Angels uniform. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other teams that currently have three players who have appeared in 1,000 or more games with that club are Atlanta (Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones and Javy Lopez) and Texas (Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez and Rusty Greer). Gonzalez and Greer are on the disabled list. … Toronto’s MikeBordick extended his hitting streak to 11 games.