Blue Jays 5, Angels 4
Washburn allowed five hits over six innings against Toronto, but four of them came in a five-run third inning. The Angels couldn’t recover, losing 5-4 and falling two games behind idle Oakland in the AL West.
Carlos Delgado capped the big inning with a two-run homer, helping Ted Lilly win for just the third time in 13 starts. After Delgado’s homer, the Blue Jays went hitless until Alex Rios led off the ninth with a single.
“Outside of that one inning, we pitched terrific baseball. But getting behind 5-0 wasn’t what we were looking for,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Wash was very strong—maybe too strong—and got into overthrowing a little bit. One challenge for our pitchers is to bend and not break. And unfortunately, Washburn wasn’t able to do that tonight.”
Lilly (10-10) allowed four runs and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings, preserving a five-run lead by the narrowest of margins.
“It was barely good enough to win, but that’s what it all comes down to,” Lilly said. “I mean, if I gave up two hits, struck out 15 and we lost, then I really didn’t get enough done. So you’d rather pitch like this and take the win, because there are a lot of happy people in the clubhouse.”
Toronto’s first five batters in the third reached base against Washburn, who was making his second start after 6 1/2 weeks on the disabled list with a strained rib cage. The left-hander threw two wild pitches in the inning, both off the mitt of two-time Gold Glove winner Bengie Molina.
Vernon Wells gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead with a bases-loaded double, driving an 0-2 pitch off the left-field fence. Washburn’s second wild pitch allowed Orlando Hudson to score the third run, and Delgado followed with his 27th homer.
Guerrero started Anaheim’s belated rally with his 29th homer leading off the fourth. An inning later, Kennedy’s solo shot cut it to 5-2. Anaheim closed within one run in the seventh with an RBI double by Chone Figgins and a run-scoring groundout by Kennedy.
“It was tough getting behind by five and giving Lilly a lot of leeway,” Scioscia said. “We started to rough him up a little later, but just couldn’t get that other one across.”
Washburn (11-6) dropped to 1-5 against the Blue Jays in his career. He struck out five and walked two.
“We’ve been able to sneak a few out against him,” Wells said. “But he’s a guy who challenges you, and it’s fun to face him. He’s got a very sneaky fastball that looks a lot harder than what it is, but fortunately we were able to get to him in that inning.”
Delgado, who has homered in seven of his last 13 games, needs three homers and 17 RBIs in Toronto’s final 22 games to record his seventh straight season with at least 30 home runs.
Anaheim’s Jose Guillen doubled with two outs in the second and tried to score on Molina’s sharp single to right field. But Rios charged the ball and made a perfect one-hop throw to the plate, where Gregg Zaun tagged out Guillen and held on despite getting bowled over by a forearm to the mask.
“With two out, there was no question I was going to send him,” third base coach Ron Roenicke said. “It wasn’t a bullet that Bengie hit, and he had to come a long way to get it. Sometimes you count on a guy making a bad throw. Guillen hit Zaun pretty good, but he got down low and got under Jose and did a nice job of sticking in there.”
Rios has nine of Toronto’s 28 outfield assists. … Kennedy’s homer was the 21st against Lilly this season, and only the third by a left-handed batter. The other two were by Shawn Green and Johnny Damon. … Despite the loss, the Angels are 28-15 in games started by opposing left-handers. The only AL team with a better winning percentage against lefties is the Yankees (34-9). … Anaheim is 20-8 when Guerrero homers. … Opposing teams had homered in only two of Washburn’s previous seven starts—but Washburn surrendered four home runs in each of those games. … Reigning AL Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, who has been on Toronto’s DL since July 20 because of a strained muscle in his right shoulder, threw 25 pitches off the regular mound at Anaheim during early batting practice. He will do the same thing Sunday at Texas, then throw a three-inning simulated game next Thursday at Toronto. If there are no setbacks, Halladay will return to the rotation Sept. 21 at Yankee Stadium. … The Blue Jays won the season series (5-4), the fifth time in seven years they have done so.