ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Bartolo Colon has been on and off in his first year with the Angels.
Anaheim’s burly right-hander was on Tuesday night, pitching seven strong innings in a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The win was the Angels’ fourth straight and pulled them within 1 1/2 games of AL West leader Oakland, which lost 7-1 to Boston.
“Bart had good life on the ball, mixed in a few offspeed pitches, but mostly spotted his fastball on both sides of the plate,” Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia said.
Colon had a 5-8 record early in July, but has bounced back to win nine of his last 12 decisions.
“He’s a horse. He can pitch deep into games,” Scioscia said.
Colon (14-11) limited the Blue Jays to six hits, with seven strikeouts and two walks. Gregg Zaun hit a two-run homer, his fifth, off him in the seventh.
“We used some body language to keep it fair,” Scioscia said with a grin. “That gave us some cushion.”
Figgins’ fifth homer made it 4-0, and Garret Anderson added a solo shot, his 12th, off Bush in the sixth.
Figgins said that, while the Angels need to concentrate on what they’re doing, they couldn’t help but note that the Athletics had lost.
“Boston’s kind of putting the hurt on everybody,” he said.
The Red Sox swept the Angels in a three-game series in Boston last week.
Rodriguez struck out Orlando Hudson for his 110th strikeout of the season, a club record for a reliever. The old mark was 109 by DeWayne Buice in 1987.
Bush (3-4) gave up five runs, four earned, in 5 2-3 innings. He allowed nine hits and had no strikeouts or walks in what was his 12th big league start.
Colon stranded a pair of runners in both the first and second innings.
“We had a couple of chances early. It just shows that, against great pitchers, you either get them early or they get you,” said John Gibbons, Toronto’s interim manager.
Hudson made it to second on Vladimir Guerrero’s fielding error in right field in the sixth inning, then stole third with one out. But Colon struck out Carlos Delgado on a 95 mph fastball, then ended the inning by getting Alexis Rios to fly out to center.
The Angels, 16-5 in their last 21 games, went ahead to stay when they scored twice in the fourth inning.
Guerrero doubled home David Eckstein, who had singled, stolen second and gone to third on Darin Erstad’s groundout to first. Guerrero then scored from second when Troy Glaus hit hard grounder down the line with two outs. Third baseman Eric Hinske made a fine diving stop, but threw wildly to first for an error.
Figgins’ one-out home run came after Adam Kennedy led off the fifth with a single.
LF Jose Guillen was back in the Angels’ lineup for the first time since leaving Friday night’s game with a sore right wrist. Guillen went 1-for-4 in the win over the Blue Jays. … RHP Ben Weber, who has struggled this year, was granted his unconditional release by the Angels, allowing the reliever to become a free agent. … The Angels’ victory game them a 4-3 series edge over the Blue Jays with two games remaining this year. Toronto went 7-2 against Anaheim last season.